Bible Verse of the Day

Monday, October 29, 2007

Weekend Recap

It was quite a weekend. This is the one that we at work have been building up to for the last 8 months. We finally moved from our old alternate site to the brand, spanking new data center. It was not fraught without challenges, but the job got done nevertheless.

There are five people on my team and the new data center houses two groups. We've done almost all the work at getting things ready to move and executing the move. One of the other groups helped with some of the networking, but we did the bulk of it. Our vendor was there to help, too. We were actually supposed to move in August, but because of the extra rain we got this year, we got moved back a couple of months. And because of the rain, there was extra mud. And we were on the critical path for another part of the company to expand their equipment into the space we were vacating.

Anyway, the plan was to go to the old site, shutdown computers, pull cables, then come in the next morning and start loading them in the moving van, then on to the new site, unload and set everything back up. Nice plan, right? Well Murphy decided to camp out with us. Part of our fiber network was not working, but could have been by move day and our contingency plan was to bring the old fibers with us, but we didn't get the word that the network wasn't ready. So we had to go back to the old site and recover all the fibers.

Then the floor of the computer room was filthy. I've been over there nearly every day for the past two weeks and have swept up as much as I can. It's hard to sweep 4000 square feet with a plain old broom. If you know anything about computers, they don't like dirt and there was a lot to not like that day. I ran over to Wally World and bought a vacuum cleaner, mops, buckets, and floor cleaner and several of us went after the dirt. The dirt got us at least once that we know of with a problem with one piece of hardware getting too dirty to operate properly.

Then we had electrical problems. Some of the receptacles were the wrong amperage. We had to get an emergency electrician to come out and fix that. The good thing about that was that he works for the guy in charge of housekeeping for the company and he was able to get a crew out the next morning to do a real job of sweeping and mopping. I'm not a huge fan of wet-mopping a computer room floor because of the potential for spilling water into the sub-floor and shorting something out, but I was far more than willing to let them mop as much as they wanted to. At least the dust cloud in the room diminished significantly.

We got everything up and running by late last night, so I would say it was a successful move. As I said, I hurt all over because it was a physically demanding job, but at least I can now sit at my desk and do what I need to do remotely. I love remote computing!

Sadly I didn't get to see much of my family this weekend, but at least the kids are old enough to know that I have to work like that sometimes. Fortunately it's almost over. Two more weekend nights after this weekend and we're done! Yea!

In other news we have reservations to take our oldest son to Vegas to celebrate his 21st birthday. That's what he wanted, so we're doing our best. He wanted to be able to walk into a casino at 12:01 on his birthday to play a hand of blackjack, but we just couldn't swing it. Airfare was outrageous and holiday rates were in effect at the hotels. His birthday is Dec. 22. He has agreed to let us take him in January, before DS#2 starts back to school from the holidays. It should be a lot of fun.

Have a great day, all!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Are You a Perfectionist?

You Are 73% Perfectionist

You are a true perfectionist. You are both demanding of yourself and others.
While it's great to have goals and standards, they don't need to be sky high!

This explains a lot about me. I always knew I was a perfectionist, but at least it's not as bad as it could be. I think I learned it from my mother...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Let's Hear It For The Band!

After all the hard work, the long hours of marching and playing practice, the near tears from the roadies, the sore feet of the chaperones, the big event happened on Saturday. The Warren Band got a First Division rating at UIL Marching Contest.

It was an incredibly beautiful day. The sun was hot, the sky was perfectly clear and blue, it was amazing. There are some strange tan lines for October, but that's okay. We weren't too sure how they were going to do because the night before was pretty rocky. It kind of went along with the football game they had around the half-time show. The football team managed to hang on to a squeaker (20-21) to remain undefeated this season. But the band sounded awful...well not awful, only just about half their normal volume. And they looked totally out of kilter. Keep in mind that all of us parents had seen this show at least a dozen times by now, so we knew what it was supposed to look like. My dad and step-mom and Aunt Kathryn came to see DS#2 perform in his last half-time with the the full contest show and they thought it was fabulous.

The band director had a come-to-Jesus talk with the band after everyone else had left the field and told them that their performance that evening would earn them a second division the next day. "Warren has never had a second division since it opened. I have never had a second division in any school I've ever taught at in 25 year." (Let it be know he's the only band director this school has had, as he was there when it opened six years ago.) That really put the pressure on the kids to figure it out for the next day.

He did something different this year at contest. After he got them warmed up and gave them his last minute reminders, he allowed seniors who wanted to, address the band. Several of them came forward and told how proud they were of the progress the lower classmen had made over the season and that they expected them just to do their best, since not everyone is perfect. A couple of us chaperones were nearly in tears because it was so beautiful.

Then they put on their "game faces" and moved to the holding area before taking the field. They did the best show I have ever seen them do. Sadly, I had to watch from the visitor side, but I heard that some of the comments were outstanding. And the drumline was singled out by at least one judge for their superb performance. This was a real improvement from one of the previous contests where the drumline came in last place. You know those kids had to be stoked!

I realized that I forgot to show the trophies from last week. These were the three they won from the Harlandale Marching Festival. Outstanding Brass, Outstanding Woodwinds, and First Place Marching.

I have to share a photo from the previous evening's football game. I don't normally take pictures of the honor guard, but for some reason I felt I should that night. When I got home and looked at this picture, it filled my heart with pride and tears welled up in my eyes. I think this is probably the most poignant picture I've ever taken. I hope you like it, too.

Have a wonderful and patriotic day.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


If you're having problems remembering things like I am, you'll appreciate this little video.

And don't forget to have a great day!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Marathon Marching Day is Past

This is a long and windy post, but there's some good stuff at the end...

We finally got the last of the mess made by the electricians at work cleaned up today. It always seems to be that when you have a problem that seems unsolvable, you figure it out finally and it ends up being something stupidly simple, usually because someone didn't document something they should have. Anyway, we got things running a their normal speed again and are just waiting to hear from the affected people later today.

This was a very busy weekend (so what else is new, right?) with band activities. Friday night we had concessions again. I was supposed to leave by 5:00 on Friday, but we were still trying to figure out the problem from Thursday. Thursday night I spend until 10:30 working with the vendor to try to find a solution. Anyway, I was only a few minutes late to concessions, but we had just enough to avoid a late-fine. Then we got up early on Saturday for all the marching contests and football game. The first contest show looked a whole lot better than the previous week's competition and I think everyone was pleased with it. We didn't get to stay for results because we had to get back to the band hall for lunch and getting ready for the next festival.

The second show, we thought wasn't as good as the first one, at least those that got to watch it from the stands thought so. I was watching from the end-zone because I had to go look for one of our kids who had problems from the heat and the nurse who was with him, but I couldn't find them, so I went back to the stadium and only got as far as the end zone. I can tell you that our color guard has never looked better than they did Saturday afternoon. And after some of the maneuvers the crowd was cheering. We stayed for a couple of bands afterwards and then had to leave for the mall for supper and then on to the football game. The head band director stayed behind with the drum majors for the retreat. That's when they give out the awards.

I was standing next to the first assistant band director in line at one of the food court places when he got the phone call from the head band director with the results. We took outstanding brass, outstanding woodwinds, and first place! They're finally getting it together! Of course word spread like wildfire through the food court. What we didn't know until the head band director got to the stadium and called the color guard aside that we learned that they took third place in color guards. This was only four girls. Most bands have upwards of 10-30 people in their guards.

Of course they had to march the show one more time at the football game, but the band director actually cut loose a little bit and had some fun with the kids. I decided his good twin showed up because he's been tough this year. They performed flawlessly as usual. We had to watch from the visitor side this time. Interesting...I just realized I saw the band from three different sides in one day. That must be a record. I do know that everyone was exhausted by the end of the day, band members, chaperones, and especially the roadies. They had to move a lot of equipment all day long and a lot of the on-field props are extremely heavy. They all did a great job, though.

Of course Sunday was another story altogether. I sang in the small ensemble, but didn't have to play an instrument. DH did, though. He played a Kyrie on soprano saxophone that was just beautiful. The song that we sang was called "Prayer for the Children" by Kurt Bestor. He wrote it as a response to the breakout of civil war in the Yugoslavia region where he had traveled for quite some time. Since Sunday was Children's Sabbath, our choir director found it and had a septet sing it. We sang the SATB version, but you can get an idea of how it sounds here. We had only practiced it on Wednesday and then a couple of times before the first service. By the time I finished singing it at both services, I was almost in tears. I know there were people in the congregation that were in tears, not only for the beauty of the music, but for the words that spoke to so many.

After that draining event, we had instrumental rehearsal and snack supper. I was fading fast by last night, but I did manage to find enough time to finish a layout I started earlier in the week and scan some photos from my Aunt Kathryn's collection. Here's the layout:

Credits are at

This photo was from her wedding day in 1944. She was 19 and he was 25, about to ship out in the Navy. She's my favorite aunt and he's my favorite uncle. He died in 1989 from pancreatic cancer, but he had been a war hero in WWII. He was at Pearl Harbor and Midway, yes in the famous battles. He flew off the USS Enterprise and was the recipient of the Navy Distinguished Flying Cross. Unfortunately, I never got to hear his stories because he didn't talk about them. All I know about his career is what I've been told by my aunt and cousins. I do have some wonderful photos of him in uniform, though. I'll post more later. But wasn't she a looker!

Kathryn and Earl
June 10, 1944
Athens, Georgia

Thursday, October 11, 2007

How Can One Survive...

...with a shortage of sleep? As we were walking back from lunch today, I noticed that I'm getting slower and slower daily as the exhaustion sets in. I thought I'd be smart today and make the run to the electronic hardware store to get some tools and parts before going to work this morning, which I did, but upon arriving at work, all heck had broken loose. They were supposed to do some maintenance on the UPS (uninterruptible power supply) this morning, which they started, but they didn't have the backup generator on, so all of the computers at the main campus went down. They realized what they had done immediately and flipped the switch back, but it caused such a huge power surge, that it actually fried some of the equipment.

We've spent all day trying to recover from it. What a mess. So much for not thinking too much today. I did have a nice shopping spree, though. Got to buy lots of computer room tools that we'll be using when we move all of our computers at the end of the month. But it still looks like I'll be here into the night.

This weekend is shaping up to be another doozie. We start out with concessions on Friday, but we expect a light turnout, so those of us who are doing the all day marathon band support the next day are going home early. The next morning we meet at 9:00 AM and head for our first marching contest of the day at 10:00. After that we return to the school and have lunch, then load up again to the second marching contest. After that we return to a mall near the school for all the kids to eat at the food court, then on to the football game. We probably won't get home until 11:00 PM or later because we have to make sure all the kids get their uniforms hung up properly.

Then on Sunday, I'm singing in a small ensemble for both services and playing clarinet for one song, too. Then at 2:00 we have instrumental rehearsal and I'm providing supper for youth group. So much for a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

I hope the rest of the world is getting some rest!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

To my faithful readers (all three of you), please forgive me for not posting for a while. I've been extremely busy at work, band boosters, and church. Why is it that when you get stretched thin, your pants don't fit any better? Anyway, it's the middle of the night here and I'm at work trying to thaw my hands out. We're moving computer racks around in the computer room and of course, computer rooms are made for computers, not people. They like it about 68-72 degrees Farenheit. I know that I don't. We've been here about four hours now. I came here after spending the afternoon with the marching band at a contest (which they didn't even place in).

I may have mentioned it before, but October has something going on every Saturday that includes marching or working. Today it's both. Next week we have concessions on Friday (26 people, a crowd of thousands, all wanting sodas and nachos) and the band is marching in two contests and a football game on Saturday. The following week we have a football game on Friday and Saturday is UIL Marching Contest (the one that really counts). The following weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) we're moving into our new computer room from the old, old, old computer room.

And every Sunday of course is church and we're supposed to play our instruments every Sunday from now on, followed by rehearsal at 2:00. Barely enough time to get lunch before we have to be back.

I know I'll get to sleep sometime, but I'm not sure when. I know that my lack of sleep is catching up with me, too. This morning when I got up, I went to print my chaperone list for the day and when the cat got on the desk, I picked him up as I normally do, but he started flailing his claws and one of them caught me on the face. Ouch! Then I went to the living room to look for something and when I tried to step over the dog, he stood up, nearly tripping me! Then I couldn't find the shirt I needed to wear for the day (forgot to wash it after last week). Then we got to the band hall late because we had to go back to the house to get the walkie-talkies that I couldn't find. It's just been an awful day all around and there's no end in sight.

Oh well, I did get a page made this evening. It answers the question "What will people say about you in a hundred years." The picture was a self portrait taken in my scrap room. Too bad it's not in good focus. That's okay, I still like how it turned out.

Enjoy your Sunday!