Where has the time gone?

Well, it’s been quite some time since I made a real blog entry. Thanks to twitter, at least my life in 140 characters or less has been somewhat documented.

As some of my close friends and family already know, I finally quit my job at OpSource, and started working at The College Board last week. I had to get out of there, because it just wasn’t a healthy environment for me both mentally and physically. While I will somewhat miss the freedom I had there telecommuting and such, I definitely wont miss the crazy hours I worked, and the constantly being called for dumb stuff. My new gig is much more laid back. While there are days that I have to be in at 5:00am to do deployments, there’s no expectation for me to work any more than the 8 hours I get paid for. So when I come in at 5:00am, I go home at 1:00pm, and that’s fine by me.

Outside of work, I took a short trip home to California before I started the new job. Unfortunately, since it was on such short notice, and we really didn’t have the money to spend on it, Steph didn’t get to go. I flew on frequent flier miles, and hardly spent any money while I was there, thanks to awesome friends and family. Hopefully, we’ll both be making another trip out for xmas, but we’re still not sure about it yet. Have to wait a bit and see how things look.

On a side note, my work wouldn’t just let me use my personal blackberry, and pay for it, so they gave me a new one with a new number. Steph’s phone was giving her problems, and she’s always wanted it to be more internet friendly, so I finally talked her into getting a BB last night. I killed off my old plan, and transferred the number to Steph’s old phone, so I’m only paying $10/mo for it instead of the ridiculous amount I was paying before. The old number is being forwarded to my new BB. Those of you who call and txt me, please hit me up via IM or email, and I’ll give you my new number. If you txt my old number, I’m not gonna get it until I happen to look at the other phone (I’m not even keeping it on or with me).

[smartads]

m e x i c o

First, thanks to everyone who came to my birthday party, and for all the well wishes! We had a great time. There was much rock band, and much cerveza’s and tequilla.

I’ve been trying to figure out what we were going to do for our real vacation this year for a while. I’ve been itching to go to mexico for a couple of years, so I finally decided we’re going to Cabo this year. We have to be in LA for my brother’s wedding next month, so Cabo is a good choice for the week before we have to be in LA, since it’s pretty close. We normally go to Cancun, but it’s a long flight from here – there – LA. We’ll fly into LA, spend the night with Jon & Mel, then fly to Cabo the next day. Spend 5 nights in Cabo. then come back to LA, spend the night with Jon & Mel, then head to the valley for my bro’s wedding.

I’m pretty stoked, as Cabo is one of those places I’ve been wanting to go to for years, but never made it to. I grew up going down to baja all the time, and I really miss the way of life there. Sure, Cabo is a tourist trap now, but it’s still baja. I look forward to a week of much needed relaxation.

Got my measurements for my tux taken care of on Saturday. Gotta pick the tux up in Burbank the day we get to LA from Cabo. Still have no idea what I’m gonna do about a speech. Don’t think I’m gonna do a bachelor party at all. At one point I was contemplating a Vegas road trip, but I just don’t really feel up to it now.

Short but sweet Cali trip; New drums for me

So I finally broke down and bought a new drum set. I have been itching to get a new kit for years (I got rid of my last set like 15 years ago, then had a practice kit for a couple years back in the late 90’s), but I’ve always let it slide on the priority list. All this playing on Rock Band got me really wanting a new kit, much the same way that Guitar Hero renewed my interest in playing guitar. So I did some searching on Musicians Friend (The greatest music store ever!), and found a pretty good low end Pearl kit that didn’t break the bank. Got a set of decent set of Paiste cymbals, and I’m in business. The kit arrived on Friday, but unfortunately, the cymbals didn’t get here until Monday.

I got her setup, and semi-tuned (any drummer knows this is an ongoing process) on Friday. Yesterday I got the cymbals, and got them all set. The dogs are NOT happy about this renewed obsession, but they’ll get used to it. I tried taking it slow and giving Benny treats while I was tuning and stuff, which seems to help. But he’s a complete pansy ass, so he gets all stressed. China just goes somewhere else, and she’s fine.

Crappy picture of new drums

We flew out to LA on Saturday morning for my Grandmother’s 80th birthday party.

Continue reading “Short but sweet Cali trip; New drums for me”

Off to the UK again…

It’s been a crazy past couple of weeks. I’ve been working ~12 hours a day trying to both get the UK shit straight, and make sure my group doesn’t completely self destruct. I am officially leaving tomorrow for my 2nd tour of duty in the UK. Once again, it almost didn’t happen. and quite honestly, had I not already made personal plans for the weekend, I would not be going until mid next week. The majority of my gear is still sitting in San Diego, so it’s doubtful that it will make it there until late in the week. My itinerary has me returning Friday morning, but it’s looking likely that I’ll have to stay a few days longer.

I’m so drained. I’m glad I have a couple of days to try and relax before the craziness resumes.

What up?

It’s funny how I feel obligated to make a “real” post every now and then. I like twitter, because it’s simple to make a quick update about what I’m doing. However, it just doesn’t have the same meaning ya know?

Anyhow, work has been crazy as ever. I’ll most likely be going back to London in a couple of weeks to roll out a very large customer deployment. The plus side is that we’re bringing in a management company to take on the day to day server deployments/management there. So basically I’m gonna go out there to pass the torch and make sure they do shit the way I want it done, then pretty much wipe my hands clean of that DC. Not long after that, I’ll probably be going out to Santa Clara, to get the new West Coast DC online.

Haven’t had much of a personal life lately due to the work situation. When I finally stop working, I just want to veg out. I started playing guitar again, so I try to at least hold it, and play some scales or just fuckoff for a while i”m watching movies or whatever. My brother hooked me up with a Guitar Port from the company he works for Line 6. It’s a pretty awesome device. Essentially it’s just a USB port that you plug your guitar into, and it has a few outputs to go to your amp, headphones, or even stereo/computer speakers. Then they have this bitchin software called Gear Box, that has “models” of a ton of different amps & guitars. Then they also have a pretty cool app called Guitar Port Online that works with Gear Box. They have a shit load of songs that they have the tab for, and you play along with it. It will automatically load up the “models” to give you the sound of the guitarist you are playing, which really helps work on your style.

I won an iPod at my office party, and promptly handed it over to Steph. Since it was a pretty beefy “classic” it was only $50 to trade it for a new iPod “Touch”. So that’s what we did, and now Steph can’t put it down for 5 minutes. It is pretty slick though, especially after they just added all the apps from the iPhone today.

I guess that’s all I have for now.

About time for a proper update

I realize that I haven’t updated recently so I thought it was about time. My apologies for the blast of worthless posts today. Stephanie finally convinced me to start using twitter, so I started using it when I arrived in London Friday, and just pushed all my updates to my blog.

So London! I got here on Friday morning, after not being sure if I was actually going this week up until the day before I left. I didn’t get any real sleep on the plane, which sucks cuz I was sure I would sleep since I got a premium economy seat (which is awesome BTW). So needless to say I became a bit of a zombie by mid day. I had some breakfast at the airport, while waiting for my coworker to arrive from Chicago. Once he got there, we took the tube to a station near our Data Center, and dragged our bags several blocks in the cold to it.

The Data Center sucks. Maybe I’m just spoiled from working in high class DC’s, but it really is a nightmare. We arrive to find out that they have been rejecting our packages because we put the DC’s name care of our company (which is how you usually do it), but they informed us that we weren’t directly a customer of theirs (we are essentially colocating in a large providers space), so we should be putting their name care of us. So he tells us that a shipment of about 12 boxes got sent back to UPS, and it’s likely they are on their way back to Holland if we don’t get in touch with them before the weekend starts. Whatever. We were fully expecting gear to be missing, since this process has been a total clusterfuck from the get go.

We finally get escorted to our cabinets, then go in search of the shipments that are actually there. We find several boxes of servers, and some switches sitting in a fire escape stairwell, that is pretty much open access in the facility. Our space is on the third floor of this building that was once a brewery or some shit. The design is HORRIBLE! There are all these little rooms that have either a few cages, or just a room alone with a bunch of racks with locks on them. There are security doors in between all of these suites. then there are these random stair cases that go down like 5 steps, turn around and go back up like 10. Then 2 more secured doors. So needless to say it was an adventure getting our gear in there. BUT, that was just the servers. We still had to go find a pair of cisco 6509-E switches, which anyone who’s ever seen/used em know are huge! So we find them in a sprinkler pipe room (are you starting to understand my hatred for this place yet?) with several more boxes.

We get this crap back up to our racks after 3 trips back and forth. As we’re putting all this stuff up there, the guard informs us that when we signed the house rules, we agreed to getting rid of all of our own trash. We say that’s not a problem, where’s the dumpster. He proceeds to tell us there is none, and we’re on our own. I go ballistic on this dude and ask him wtf I’m supposed to do with 60+ boxes and tons of Styrofoam and other padding. He tells me “unofficially” that if we come in on the weekend, we can sneak the trash down the alley and throw it in someone else’s dumpster! So after we got it all unpacked yesterday, that’s what we did.

Friday night, we went out with one of our coworkers who lives here, and her husband. We went to some little burger place. I had some fallafal, and it was pretty good. Then we went to a pub and had a couple of pints. They were cool, but by this time, both Pete and I were dead to the world, so we headed back to our hotel. I came in and brushed my teeth and stuff, and crashed HARD around midnight. 11 hours later I woke of to my phone buzzing!

So yesterday after I finally got moving around noon, I headed to the DC. We got almost everything unpacked, and racked. I got all my servers cabled up and labeled. Pete got all his network configs rolled out, but we found out that our fibre drop (the one going to Internap) was the wrong type of connector, so no intarwebz for us till Monday. I decided that I was not going in today, because I have jack shit to do without the intarwebz. So I’m going to take our coworker from India out sightseeing today. It’ss actually sunny out right now, which is a rarity here, let alone in the middle of their dreary ass winters.

Where has time gone?

How the hell is Thanksgiving in a few days? Seriously.

Just got back from combined work/vacation trip to California. Not counting the 4 days I was in Santa Clara, I drove 950 miles! It was a great trip though, and the little prius I rented served us well. We drove from Santa Clara, to San Francisco where we spent the day. Then drove from San Francisco to Monterey Bay, where we spent the night. Then from Monterey, to Hermosa Beach, where we spent 2 nights. Then to Rancho Mirage, where we spent the night. And finally on to San Diego (which of course in German means a whale’s vagina), where we spent the night, then flew home from there.

While I was out there on work, my boss messaged me and asked me if I could go to London in a few weeks to setup a new DC. so I said probably, just give me some dates. So when I got back to work today, he tells me that the Network Engineer will be arriving on 12/14 so I should be there around the same time. So I got my shit together and submitted my travel request for that trip today. Then I realized that when I come back, I’ll have 10 days off thanks to the Holiday shutdown! Sweet! This week is a short week too, since I only work through Weds.

Not much else going on. Sup wit choo?