January 30, 2009: Dominica Starts at O’Reilly

Friday is finally here.  I thought that I was going to sleep in a little this morning but ended up waking up early on my so I just got up and got started on the day.

Today Dominica signed up for the Linux/UNIX System Administration program at the O’Reilly School of Technology at the University of Illinois.  It is a “continuing education” certificate program consisting of four, hands-on UNIX administration and scripting classes.  We are very excited about the program.  It is done at your own pace and because she signed up for the entire certificate program all at once we got a fifteen percent discount (probably because of the economy.)  So that saved a lot of money too.  The real benefit will come if Empire State College decides to accept the credits from UofI (they are continuin education credits, not regular credits) towards her associates and/or second bachelor’s degree.  That will save her time and money.

Work was better than it usually is on a Friday for me today.  I got started early instead of late.  Normally on Fridays I start a little late because I have to work so late in the evening but today I got a good head start.

This week I started working with a logo design firm out of London.  I have been thinking about trying to work with one for a while now. We got an incredibly fast turn-around on the designs and after just two days have a block of designs to look at over the weekend!  Very impressive.  So far I am quite happy with the process and the price.  I am guessing that the process will be all complete by the end of next week.

I have been using the Wii Fit for ten days now.  I have no missed a single weigh-in yet and am very proud of myself.  Having the Wii Fit keep track of my exercise and health progress is really great.  It is definitely keeping me motivated thus far.

We are completely out of our food for Oreo today.  So as soon as lunch was over and Liesl appeared to be going to sleep Dominica ran out to Stop and Shop to get chicken and turkey so that she could cook Oreo’s dog food for him.  So I stayed at home taking care of Liesl and Oreo and watching the email for any work that came across my desk.  All of our shopping seems to be done in a state of emergency these days.

Work wrapped up for me on the early side.  I was done for the evening around seven and able to come upstairs and join the family for the evening.  We had dinner and watched some of Major Dad. Then, once Liesl fell asleep, Dominica played some of Paper Mario for the N64 on the Wii’s Virtual Console.  She is most of the way through the game and hoping to be able to complete it soon.  She started playing it a long time ago when we were living in Newark.

I spent the evening continuing to work on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux server builds running on the Xen virtualization environment that I started working with yesterday.  I got quite a lot of work done on that today as well.  It has been a productive week.

I also took a little time this evening to set up Dominica’s class stuff for the O’Reilly School to make sure that everything is working properly and that she has the resources that she needs.  I got her logged in and tested out her access to her curriculum content and checked out her remote shell account works.  Everything seems to work very well.

With Dominica’s classes she is also getting four books.  One of the great things about the O’Reilly School of Technology is that the school is sponsored in part by a major technology publisher (guess which one) and instead of low-quality textbooks so often used by colleges (often because the professor is getting a kickback in return for sacrificing the student’s education value) these classes use really high quality, industry standard reference material from a very highly respected publisher – and the books are included in the price of the classes instead of being an additional cost item.

Dominica is getting “UNIX in a Nutshell”, “The Apache Cookbook”, “Learning Perl” and “TCP/IP Network Administration”.  Almost all of these are titles are ones that we already own but mostly in much older revisions.  “UNIX in a Nutshell”, from 1994, is the first technology book that I ever bought and is a major reason for me being in IT today.  It will be nice to have a new copy of the classic title.  If I remember my book library correctly, “The Apache Cookbook” is the only one of these books that we don’t have already.

Tomorrow morning I have to work at eight in the morning, as usual for a Saturday.  It is supposed to be a short day of work though.  Only a few small items need to be addressed tomorrow.  Then, in the afternoon, Linnea is driving up to Peekskill to visit us.  It is her chance to see our new house and to meet Liesl.  Oreo is looking forward to having company again.

SGL appears to be back to a more normal length today.  Maybe I can keep it up.

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