Slinking Along

A few days of extended work hours at the day job has messed up my schedule a bit. I wasn’t able to get as many things accomplished as I had hoped, but I did make some progress. We’re back on track now, though.

I’m writing a small import utility in PowerShell with a XAML UI. The software ingests Excel files and adds entries to a database. I’m running into an odd roadblock today where the specific Commandlet that performs the import is not able to properly latch into the Excel file and read its data. I need to get this tool ready before tomorrow, so this issue is really slowing me down. I’ll be in the day job’s office all day tomorrow, so my weekend won’t see many more personal projects completed.

The wooden boxes for my geeky collection of items have arrived and they’re great. They’re raw wood (sanded, but otherwise unfinished) and, other than lining the bottoms with some felt, I’m not sure yet how to decorate and/or finish them. Will likely address this next weekend.

Also, the magazine organizers arrived and I’m already starting to put them to work. All-in-all, I’m feeling excited about the office reorg.

I also had a mobile window company come out to the house today and replace the rear window of my car. Another checkbox has been checked.

Weekend Loose Ends, Scheduling

I added Marriage Story to the library today and fixed the cover art to Jojo Rabbit.

We completed assembling and populating the new fish tank and I was able to put the surrogate 10 gallon tank and all the supporting tools back into the garage to dry out over the next few days until I can properly put them back on the shelves.

I went through the hard drives of my old PC and cleared off all of the data I might need and put it on my new machine.

I have a lot of projects I want to complete and have decided to start properly planning them out and putting them on a schedule. This basically means that I’m going to take all of my non-day-job time and divide it up and organize it so I can start to get things completed. Once I figure this out, I may post a calendar on the site here.

I’ve also been thinking alot about how much content I’m consuming and whether or not I want to slow that down. I’ve unsubscribed from several YouTube channels and have brought my weekly viewing down from about (on average) 7h 17m to about 4h 00m. I need to do the same with podcasts as well and trim all of the fat.

New PC

I’ve finally had time to build out my new PC, and I’m writing this from it. It’s really nice to have such a fast machine. I think I’ll end up being a lot more productive in the long run. Most of my day-to-day software has been installed. Dev tools, 3D printing software, and games are still pending (well, I did install Minecraft and tested it – wow!).

A nice side-effect of building the new computer is that I’ve been able to clean up the office a lot. All of the boxes are now gone and my desk is no longer an assembly area anymore.

We’re on day 3 of the Monte Carlo seeds in the aquarium. Still no visible germination.

I ordered some Dewalt folding workbenches to augment the workspace in the garage. I think these will help m a lot with some upcoming projects.

Speaking of garage, I’m going to go in there now to do some cleanup while Visual Studio 2019 installs.

Balancing Projects

The replacement motherboard for my new computer arrived yesterday. I haven’t unboxed it yet as I need to perform some initial setup tasks on the aquarium.

I plan to begin growing a bed of Micranthemum Tweediei (more commonly known as Monte Carlo) in the tank, which requires no standing water and a greenhouse effect to be in place for about a week. Once that takes root (pardon the pun), then I’ll add water and relocate the fish from the 10 gallon tank. While the Monte Carlo grows, I can focus on building the new computer.

A Long-Overdue Update

Hey, the site’s working again and I’m back…

We moved into the new house on October 29, 2016, which was five months ago. Of course, just prior to the move I shut down and packed up the entire network from our old apartment and brought it to the house. For the first 3.5 months here, the servers were powered up, but there was no internet connectivity to them. This was due to the fact that the ISP Ethernet hand-off was in the laundry room, whereas the server rack is located in my office. And there was no Ethernet between. Workstations, mobile devices, Apple TVs, etc. were all using the default Wi-Fi from the ISP. Then, finally, about 1.5 months ago, I finally got up into the attic and ran some cable to cross-connect my pfSense firewall to the ISP. Viola!

So, you may ask, if the servers have been online for the last month-and-a-half, why has the site been inaccessible? Well, that’s because I upgraded the ESXi hypervisors and ran into an issue with unsupported network cards. As a result, the entire DMZ (where this site is hosted) was not accessible. Until today. I’ve fixed the issue, obviously.

Anyway, the house is doing great. Lots of little projects, organization, and decorating still going on. More on that soon. Also, I’m going to be posting some project-related info soon too.

Network Re-engineering Complete

Soon after I got this site back up, I decided to re-engineer the internals of the network at the studio. This, ultimately, took this site down again (along with others).

The biggest change was the refactoring of the hypervisors’ datastores. I have two hypervisors running VMware ESXi. Each hypervisor had a series of internal hard drives that stored all of the data (datastores). When I first implemented the hypervisors, I thought I was clever by having these disks internal, as I was using the OSes of the VMs to mirror across multiple physical disks for redundancy, as well as JBOD the disks for greater storage. The problem was that this wasn’t conducive to having the hypervisors redundant, only the hard disks. The only way to fix that was to get a NAS or SAN that supported iSCSI. So, l got an enclosure, populated it, and began the process of building new iSCSI targets. After moving the data off of all the internal HDDs onto the iSCSI targets, I was able to vMotion VMs all onto one hypervisor, shut it down, and remove all of the internal drives. Then, I repeated those steps for the hypervisor. Ahh…

Quick Cap Recap

Sunday we went and saw Captain America: Civil War at the AMC West Shore. I’m not going to spoil it for anyone and go into details, but I loved it and would like to see it again in the theater. It was a long movie, but flew by.

Yesterday was a big day – I resigned from my day job. I have something lined up. More to come.

I’m now going to spend time organizing all of the comics we bought on Saturday.

All Sorts of News

A lot has happened since my last post. I’ll start with the more mundane…

I had trouble rendering SCS047 and guessed it was a Windows issue with my main workstation. So, about a week ago, I reformatted the box and re-installed everything. Since this is pretty painful to do, I thought it might be nice to make my C: drive an SSD, so I bought one and installed it. I made my old 1TB HD a secondary drive and installed less-used software to it. I also had a bunch of unused RAM laying around, so I upgraded the machine from 8GB to 16GB. I’ll most likely up it to 32GB in the coming months.

I got everything shiny and new, fired up LightWave and … the application crashed again. So, I decided it was time to upgrade from LightWave 10 to LightWave 2015.3, which ended up curing the problems. SO, I got back into the project again…

Work on SCS047 is moving along. I got approval from Carl on several ideas and changes to the final logo. I rendered it yesterday, but the final Uncompressed AVI file was not playable for some reason. I restarted the render again today with it outputting to the local SSD drive instead of the network share I put it on yesterday. There’s still another 35 minutes left. Fingers crossed.

I got word today that they broke ground on my new house. I’ll be swinging by the lot tomorrow to see where they are and take pictures, which I’ll post up here soon.

I finished upgrading my second ESXi instance. I’ve added a 5TB HD and extended the internal SATA ports to eSATA so I can hook up both an external 2TB HD and an external 3 TB HD. These will be JBODed and used as a local backup disk to compliment the cloud backups I’m doing. This box needs to be upgraded to 32GB of RAM in the next couple of months too.

And lastly, I accepted a position at a new company doing IT. I will be resigning from my current job on Monday, May 9. This has lit a huge fire inside me to start completing projects, etc. Feels good to know there’s a light at the end of that tunnel. More to come…

Firewall Update

A couple of days ago I implemented a new firewall that seems to be working out quite well. By “new”, I mean “new to me”. It’s actually an old WatchGuard Firebox X700 that I cracked open and upgraded some of the hardware, then wiped the factory OS and replaced it with pfSense. So far, I couldn’t be happier. It allows me some expandability and gives me some great tools I’ve always wanted on the network.

As for this site, I’m going to be investigating new blogging plug-ins, as the default Journal system just isn’t cutting it for me. I mean, it works, but it’s lacking a lot of features.

Creativity vs. Work

Lately it seems that I can’t keep my head out of my day job/office work. As usual, there’s an enormous amount of work on my plate every day, and I end up spending huge amounts of time sitting at my desk, on conference calls, or even working from home. My mind has veered off into the tumbleweed-laden, snake-infested cool desert night. Nothing around but survival with very little hope for something more than what I’m currently engaged in. I think this is stemming from multiple things in my life currently, but I’m letting it take control, and that’s just unacceptable.

Most of my creative energy lies in the foundation of free, open thinking, in that, I need to be around creativity, to pull it into my own thoughts, digest it, and remanufacture it into my own flavor. I believe that, just as success breeds success, creativity breeds creativity. In my own experience, it is very difficult to just sit in a dark room with no stimulus and create something amazing. Creativity is the culmination of thoughts and experiences, which are driven by the fabric of your life. Hence, the more you interact and the more you learn, the more creativity is at your disposal.

It’s time to leave that desert and set sail for the lush, green, vibrant rain forest that’s full of life and adventure. To do this though will require some effort. I need to buy back more free time from my day job and wrangle up as much quality time as possible.

I’ve heavily considered moving to L.A. lately for many reasons, but have realized that I have no discipline to do so right now. My main reasons to move there would be to hang out with friends, and absorb some of their energy to produce something for myself which might not be too hard as the “industry” is a stone’s-throw from that entire area. While this is a great concept, I can’t mentally afford to do that yet. I feel that the building-blocks of my creativity are not up to snuff yet. I’d like to get out there with an arsenal – my own trademark or dog-eared book full of projects that I am developing. I’m not there yet.

To pave the way to creativity, I must do some clear-cutting. The main thing I need to take an axe to is my day job’s workload. Since I’m a control freak and work-a-holic, I very rarely allow others to manage my projects. This has to change and now that I have enough staff to accomplish this, it will happen.

Starting tomorrow, I’ll begin offloading projects to my staff and getting them up to speed. They’re still a bit green, but they’ll learn quickly enough, just as I did. I will gently steer them in the right directions. My hope is that, in the next few weeks, I’ll be able to relax a bit more and move forward on my own projects, including the newly-started SCS017. SCS017 is my internal project code and I will continue to reference the project via this code from now on until the true title is revealed.

Sick Thought of the Day: Blowing masturbated milk bubbles.