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Friday, July 03, 2015

Just when I think things are going ok

A kerfluffle in the works.  Nothing major, but request good thoughts.  I'm getting tired of how difficult all this work stuff gets over stupid things, but that is how it goes these days, I guess.  More push for me to just get rid of things and downsize again, this time to an RV.  Pondering retirement as a real option.  Not sure how realistic it is right now, but folks are living on less than I have.  Hope this is just a dip in a life that was starting to get settled in for once.  I have on 'good authority' that 'no one' will hire me because I'm 60yo now.  May have to test that opinion that was handed to me as a bald fact.  I'm just tired of the games.

Not one of my better posts.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Geek Alert - proceed with caution

I think I mentioned that I got a new laptop:  i7 fifth generation CPU, 12G of ram, 17" screen.  Windows 8.1 (I'm slowly circling closer to it, still don't particularly like most of the changes) with Dragon speech recognition software.  Kinda cool to just say "hey, Dragon, shut down the computer" as I walk away and it does!  Other commands, not so much.  Just realized I should have done this post by verbally dictating it to the new laptop, but I'm still on my old(er) desktop for pretty much everything but what I bought the laptop for.

What did I buy it to do?  Well...  In my job I need to get more conversant in databases.  To be specific, Oracle, Sybase, Netezza, and SQL databases.  I say conversant because I'm not creating databases, designing them, tuning them or anything else an actual DBA would be doing.  This actually totally frustrates the actual DBA folks who work with me.  However, I need to know how to peer into the belly of the database and diagnose the symptoms presented to me in the form of incident tickets.  Oracle does a fantastic job of making itself available for download free in the form of virtual machines (files that when opened in proper software look and act like actual separate computers) and I needed more horsepower to do that.  I want to try things before jumping on Big Customer's production servers and running commands that could cause another big market crash if I caused the server to incinerate itself.  Seems like a good idea anyway.

Oracle is covered, or will be when I get over my rising panic to actually open up one of the downloaded virtual machines and start playing.  The really nice thing about this setup is that it is just a file.  If I incinerate it, I just load another copy of it and off I go.  I need something similar, or maybe at least a good recommendation on books or videos on Sybase, and maybe an introduction to Netezza.  To be honest, I haven't done much research to see what is out there.  I've kinda been occupied with the Oracle side.  I was hired, or rather moved over to this side, based on my SQL knowledge, but we haven't taken that over yet.  It is just a matter of time, which I need to use to brush up on  the details of the interface.

These are the things that try to keep me off the street and out of trouble.  I did manage to wrestle the laptop to the ground and get a backup image of it before downloading the virtual machine software to it.  There is a nice, free utility online called Rufus.  I was able to get a thumbdrive  to format as a bootable device and then use my imaging software to image the original setup of the disk on the laptop.  That was step one.  In case I end up incinerating the entire OS.  The process wants tweaking in that I want a larger thumbdrive (128G...) so I can put the image on the thumbdrive instead of needing an external usb drive also hooked up to take the image.  Too many drives available and it is just a matter of time until I try to take an image of itself and incinerate the wrong thing.  This is the voice of experience.  There is a reason I'm so paranoid about backups.

I warned you.  This is the side of me I don't write about much.  I haven't done much in several years is another reason.  This is actually fun stuff for me.  I'm weird in other ways as well.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rainy day in Algodones

The backup pair of glasses I've been wearing for the past couple of months because they are the only ones I can see out of now fell apart again on Thursday.  A problem with having the only set of glasses that I can see out of break is that I can't see to fix them.  I went into work using a pair that I can see distance sort of ok, and pleaded my case with my younger co-workers.  One of them got the lens back into the glasses and finangled his way to getting the frame tight enough to hold it.  I knew it was time for new glasses, though.

I decided to head to Algodones early on Tuesday.  It means that I have to switch to a daytime awake slot, but that is the only way to get anything done.  I got to the casino at the interstate turnoff to Algodones around 6am and did pretty well at the machines until a bit after 9am, when it was time to head on down.  I looked out and it was raining.  I'd hoped that it would just stay cloudy with just a spit or two of rain, but my luck didn't hold.

Deciding again that it was best to just get wet (I don't do umbrellas) I walked over into town.  I had enough cash for glasses and maybe a dental appointment if the new dentist I want to use was available, and if I could find her office.  I was immediately escorted by the extremely helpful and friendly guys at the crossing into town to the first optical place inside the gate, and checked out their frames while discussing price.  I just didn't find any frames that tripped my trigger.  I extricated myself (not easy once you are inside usually) and started walking.  Constant friendly young(ish) males kept attempting to guide me to the best/cheapest dental/optical places.  It kind of creeps me out that there are so many combination optical/dental offices.  I guess it makes sense for there, but I'm thinking that jack of all trades, master of neither is what comes across.

I managed to get far enough into town that I was basically left alone, and found a place that looked a bit larger than most of the optical places.  The doctor and receptionist were busy helping an older, hard of hearing gentleman get the idea that if he was not happy with his current medical doctor in Yuma, that the optician was recommending a good Mexican doctor.  The gentleman was loudly repeating his woes with his US doctor, and the optician was gently bringing him back to the piece of paper with the Mexican doctor's information on it.

I took the time to check out their frames.  Nothing was grabbing me, but I was able to get a good feel for the options.  Once I had their attention, the doctor and receptionist checked out my glasses and told me that because of my somewhat complex prescription using the lightweight polymer lenses and with all the coatings I wanted it would be $300.  They don't do contacts like I want.  I do believe them (and not just because I was told the same thing at another place) because they were not really interested in wheeling and dealing.

Basically I decided to go ahead and get my exam here in Phoenix and try for the new contacts to see if I can wear them comfortably.  I may go back for glasses in Mexico, or order online.  I feel I would get a good exam at the place I checked in Algodones, but I couldn't get contacts in the US from his prescription I don't believe.  So...  back at square one for the  glasses.

I found the office of Dr. Eva Urena, the dentist I think I want to do my implant.  She is basically out of the office until August.  Makes sense that this would be her vacation time as the gringos who make up most of the customers in Algodones are fewer and far between in the summer.  So, I'll call them early in August to start that process.

It was still raining as I made my way back across the border and to my Jeep in the parking lot.  I dried off as best I could and headed home, via the Paradise casino in Yuma.  It is hidden (don't let the sign at the interstate fool you as it fooled me).  My GPS managed to find it, and I now know where downtown Yuma is located, as well as the old prison. I lost what I was ahead from the other casino, but overall walked out even for the day.

By the time I got home I had been up for over 24hrs.  I slept for about 4 hours, got up as long as I could stay awake, and after sleeping (cat napping really) all day I got up at my usual time this evening.  I'm thinking work will be difficult to stay awake for tomorrow night.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Taking a break

Everything is ok, I'm just taking a break from blogging.  I am making some changes, and trying to learn some new things, or more that I'm learning the same things in a deeper way, for work.  I bought a new laptop with bunches of memory and a state of the art cpu and it is kicking my butt just trying to get a backup of it in my usual way.  I also truly hate Windows 8.1.  And Skype won't let me log in with my account info, it demands I create a Windows account for ALL my stuff.  No.  There are other video chat programs out there.  When I can get a backup of the original install of this Windows 8.1 I'll take the laptop to Linux, or make it dual boot or something.  But, I digress.

I lost a good friend lately.  He was one of the folks I wrote this blog for.  He didn't comment, but I would get an email right after I posted.  He set me up for a lot of the adventures I ended up having, both in the Virgin Islands, and later because of that travel when I was open to Honduras.  Rest in Peace, Dave.  I'll drink a bushwhacker for you in St. Thomas overlooking the bay at some point.  I'm picturing you waiting at the bar in Dayton, holding the table for the rest of us as we straggle in to get our yearly steak dinner at the Hamfest.  At one point I had hoped this year would have been a reunion for some of us who haven't been back for a few years.  Won't be the same any more.

So, I'll be back sometime.  Just need to shift gears and hibernate for a bit.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Back in the Groove

My sleeping is back on track, solidly on nights now.  I'm actually looking around the mobile and starting to slowly make some progress on projects.  Not the throw, though.  2 rows in and I need to rip back yet again.  I was ready to give up, but upon consideration I'm going to keep at it till I end up with an afghan, or the yarn is worn out, whichever comes first.

I'm starting to take interest in things again, music and reading and studying Spanish again, and generally just waking up.  Been a long time coming.  My back even stopped hurting.  I'm taking multiple walks each night on my nights off around the mobile park here.  Just listened to the video on Lloyd's blog (sidebar) of Willie and Merle singing 'It's all going to pot', and was bouncing and smiling along.  Good to see them still enjoying making music.  Lots of their outlaw co-horts are not around anymore to sing a chorus with them.  I felt them there, though.  Johnny, Waylon, et. al.

I had dinner with Sandie and Jim Dixon and Paul (?) on Tuesday night.  It was fun getting to know them.  Well, I think I got kinda wordy and did most of the talking.  Once I wake up now its Katy bar the door, get a drink and get comfortable.  On Monday night Mom and I went out with Favorite Neighbor, her son and daughter-in-law.  They left for parts North on Tuesday morning.  So, the park is officially quiet now.  At least this street.  I ended up putting the trash cans out a day (night?) early, and then figured who cares at this point.  The summer folks are a live and let live group.  Both nights I went out we ended up a Farmer Joe's Grill down on Ray Rd.  Good food, and nice outside seating.  Now that the snowbirds are gone (or leaving...) it is quiet there, as well.

Cats are fine, Mom is fine, all is well.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

NIce time in-between

This is the best time for me as a year-round Arizona resident.  Most of the snowbirds have winged their way out of here.  The park is basically quiet, I can get to the laundry room with no wait at any time and neighbors on both sides have left.  Favorite Neighbor is still here until next week.  The weather is still sweatshirt weather after dark and warms up during the day.  From what I hear.  I'm asleep during daytime hours.  I did hear the wind at times today when I would wake up.  It is a breezy time of year here.  All in all, very nice.

The repairs on Mom's mobile home continue.  I helped her figure out that her gas oven does work.  She was worried that when it didn't flame up immediately that she was flooding the place with gas so turned off the control.  I got down and turned on the oven and the pilot was working, but no gas.  While I was explaining that the issue was the opposite of what she had thought, the thermocouple finally got hot and turned on the gas and she now has a working oven.  Guess I have to give her back the frozen pizza she gave me that she thought she couldn't cook.

My sleep patterns are straightened out to sleeping all day again.  In fact, I've been sleeping almost 12 hours each day on my nights off.  Makes for a boring life, but feels good after all the stress of moving Mom here and getting the mobile liveable.  It is 3:46am here right now, and I'm fully awake with no undue reliance on coffee.  I'll head to bed in a couple of hours and get up around 4pm to start the process of getting ready for work.

I thought I almost had another throw finished in a really pretty yarn that I was given.  However, the pattern I was winging I didn't wing very well, and as I neared the end I realized that I had managed to accidentally decrease over 6" in width.  I was just double crocheting across as it is a bulky, wavy type yarn that is difficult to see what I'm doing, and I'm not good at figuring out how to end and restart the rows.  Really not good at it.  So, I'm starting over again, doing 2 single, 2 double crochet.  I'm making it a bit wider as well since I have more yarn than I realized.  No finished project pictures as I had hoped to show.  I'm not happy with the last 4 rows after starting the neck on the sweater either, which is why I had moved to the 'easier' crochet throw.  I will get both finished.  Sometime.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Roll With It, Baby

It has been awhile since I updated the blog.  It has been a busy and physically stressful time around here lately.  I know, it's sad when folks need to read Rod or Croft's blogs to know what I've been up to.  The primary reason is that I just don't bounce as well as I used to.  The chorus 'Roll with it, Baby...' came out of the radio at me while driving to work the other night and I decided I need to stop trying to bounce and start rolling.

Since Croft and Norma have been here we have been out to eat a few times.  These have been covered in Rod and Croft's blogs.  Rod is now back in Kansas with his issues there, and Mom has moved here.  Last night Croft and Norma, Mom, and Favorite Neighbor and I went back to the Organ Stop pizza place since it is probably the last time I will get to spend much time with them before they leave for points north.  It was fun, although the organ music was late getting started because the organist had car issues and got there late.  He made up for it, though.  Mom enjoyed it as I knew she would.

I flew out to Missouri a couple of weeks ago and we loaded up Mom's stuff in a U-Haul and hooked her Kia on a dolly on the back and I drove us back here.  She bought a mobile home here in the park.  Since we got back she has been busy cleaning and unpacking.  Physically, my back is so weak that I can't do much, and I even put it out again this morning putting a shelf into the kitchen cart she gave me.  I really need to get to a gym, the fitness room here at the park really only has treadmills.  Between getting back on nights from her visit, then going out there and driving for 3 days to get here, then spending the rest of the vacation days getting back on nights, I'm not sure if I'm awake or asleep.

That is a quick overview of what has been going on.  I may go into some of it more as I go along.  I just wanted to get this first post out of the way.