February 6, 2009: Cleaning and Cupcakes

When Dominica and I got up this morning she asked me if I was scheduled to work tomorrow (Saturday) morning which I normally am.  I told her that no one had scheduled me to work so I was probably in the clear because I am supposed to have forty-eight hours of lead time on scheduled weekend work (scheduled deployments or whatever, not emergency disasters which are pretty common too.)  But, it turns out, sitting in my email early this morning, having arrived at almost the very instant that she was asking me, was an apology for the late notice that I have to work Saturday morning.  So tomorrow I am working starting at eight as usual.  Can’t complain about overtime hours these days though.  I just wish overtime could start around ten or so.

I was able to get some cleaning snuck in between things today which is good since dad is coming down to Peekskill to visit for the weekend.  I got some carpet cleaning done – the kind that you have to do to keep older carpets seeming more youthful than they really are.  I also managed to bag a ton of loose cables that have been scattered around the basement.  I have just loads and loads of IBM power cables, USB cables, Ethernet cables, A/C adapters and more that all get thrown into large boxes and tangled into a mangled and unusable mess.  So I have started putting like cables into Ziplock ™ plastic bags so that they can’t get all tangled together.  What a good idea.  That makes organizing them much easier and it makes organizing them something that I only have to do once instead of something that I have to do each and every time that I need to look for a specific cable.

I did a bit of plant maintenance today as well which has been lacking recently.  In Newark the plants were very much “in our faces” and it made taking care of them pretty easy.  Now that we are in Peekskill the plants are harder to get to and on separate floors of the house so watering, pruning and tending to them in general is a lot more difficult and in many cases it is an “out of sight, out of mind” problem.  So today I did a lot of work on the plants that are now living upstairs in the nursery.  I trimmed and watered and pruned and coddled.  Hopefully we will see some positive growth and recovery.  Overall the plants are still all in rather rough shape following the move from Newark but, so far, none have actually died except for the one palm tree which was in rough shape in Newark and took a serious beating on the trip from Newark to Peekskill having lost its largest living frond which was its main food supply.

Both Dominica and I really noticed the cupcakes and other naughty food that we ate yesterday when we weighed in on the Wii Fit this morning.  We both were up over a pound!  It is amazing what one day of decadence can do to you!  Having the Wii Fit demand that you tell it what you did wrong yesterday and show your failure on a graph really does help you to think about your food and exercise actions more proactively.  I will definitely be more careful today than I was yesterday and will think about having cupcakes and fried rice in the future.  (Okay, I really can’t resist fried rice daily specials at the Thai place in Warrenville but at least I will think about it first.)

Dominica was able to do three more segments of her first Linux and UNIX Systems Administration course today.  Very good progress.  She has not had time to work on it every day but overall she is finding a good amount of time to dedicate to it and really feels that she is learning from it and is enjoying the process.

Work was pretty normal for a Friday.  Busy overall.  Lots to be done with the regular ups and downs that Fridays create.

We tried to eat healtheir today but there were tempting cupcakes left over from last night that, if not eaten, would only get stale and go to waste.  So Dominica had one for breakfast, we split one at lunch and she had another after dinner.  It was a cupcake heavy day.  I will be surprised if she doesn’t feel sick at some point from all of that cupcakey goodness.  Crumbs makes the most amazing cupcakes ever.

Work didn’t end up going all that late tonight which is good since I need to be able to get up and work in the morning and then to clean all day once the office work wraps up.  Dad is planning to leave Peoria around nine or nine-thirty tomorrow morning which will probably put him in Peekskill somewhere around four in the afternoon.  He hasn’t seen Liesl since he saw her at Christmas in Frankfort.  So almost six weeks.  She has grown quite a bit and is so much more alert and interactive now.

I managed to get some time to work on some of my Xen based Linux servers tonight.  I have just recently really started working with Xen rather than VMWare Server or Microsoft Virtual Server which I used before that.  Overall I think that I like Xen better but it will take some time before I really see where the problem arise with it.  What I have been working on tonight is adding secondary storage from raw EXT3 formatted LVM partitions mounting to already existing Xen DomU guests.  Not too hard but not very many people do this with Xen virtualized machines.  It is important if you really want to be able to tune your I/O performance.  Otherwise you have a lot of unnecessary limitations in your virtualization environment.

We managed to get to bed not all that late tonight.  Dominica, Liesl and Oreo were upstairs and getting in to bed by eleven thirty.  I was not far behind them.  Hopefully we will all be fast asleep by midnight or sooner.  I took Oreo out for a late night walk, wrapped up a final LVM mount to a Xen guest and called it a night.  I wanted to kick off some additional h.264 conversions but decided that I just did not have the extra energy necessary to do it tonight.

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