May 2, 2009: Road Trip to Denny’s in Connecticut

For a nice change I managed to sleep in this weekend.  It has been a long time since I had a Saturday morning that did not require me to get up extra early and work even before I would be working on a weekday.  So today I slept in until almost ten.  Of course, sleeping in until almost ten means that the total time from when I went upstairs to go to bed until I was up was less than eight hours and it was full of the regular interruptions so it still was nothing like a full night’s sleep but it was better than it often is.

Dominica really wanted to go to Denny’s for breakfast this morning but there really was not any time.  Just because I didn’t have to work early didn’t mean that I didn’t have to work.  I didn’t receive my Saturday task list until really late.  Normally I get it on Friday evening but today it didn’t come until eleven this morning.  So it gave me an excuse to sleep in late and relax but left me scrambling to get my work done this afternoon.

I worked until mid-afternoon.  We skipped breakfast and lunch because Dominica really, really wanted to go to Denny’s in Connecticut for their pancake puppies.  So the moment that I was done working we jumped into the car and hit the road for Danbury.  Yes, a rather long drive to go to a Denny’s but it is our nearest location.  The next closest is in Newburgh on the west side of the Hudson.  It is surprising that there isn’t a single Denny’s in Westchester or Putnam Counties.

Lunch was delicious.  Dominica got the tilapia ranchero with southwestern mashed potatoes and pico de gallo.  I got breakfast.  We split the pancake puppies.

After lunch Dominica and I both really wanted to get ice cream at Friendly’s which is pretty much right across the street.  So we decided to use all of our spare Weight Watchers points today and just do it.  So we drove across the street for Reese’s Pieces sundays.  Yummy.

Then back to Peekskill.  Just as we were arriving home we spotted a loose pit bull puppy running around in the middle of the street chasing a woman who was walking her dog.  The loose puppy had a very long chain being dragged behind it so there was obviously something very wrong going on.  So we drove over and helped.  By the time that we arrived the puppy had gotten caught on a stop sign and was choking because of a choke collar she was wearing.  She was a very sweet dog and quite obviously very scared.

Some neighbours came down and took the dog to its owners who didn’t really care at all, it seemed, that she was missing.  The neighbours who helped told us that the poor dog was left outside all of the time and just tied up.  She gets loose regularly.  She had no tags or collar.  She was very sweet and was healthy, from the look of her.  But it is so sad to see a dog that is neglected and mistreated.  And she could have very easily died playing in a busy street with a choke collar and a really long chain hooked to her.  It is amazing that we were able to get to her in time.

It really was irresponsible to take her back.  She had no collar and we had every right to seize her then and there.  But she is known to be dog aggressive – but we suspect that is only because she wants to play and is always tied up.  She was not visibly aggressive to the other dog that we saw – just very playful and completely loose.  It is just so horrible to know that she is going back to a family that doesn’t love her at all when so many people would be so willing to take her in and care for her.

Shortly after we got back home the sun was starting to get low so we packed up Liesl and Oreo and went for a walk around the complex.  We really needed to get exercise today after all of that bad food that we ate.  We got in a good walk before Liesl got fussy so that worked out well.

After our walk it was time for me to get back to building the Elastix server that I started the other day.  I had completed the base build of Red Hat 5.3 and just needed to install Elastix on top of it.  The directions from Elastix on this process turned out not to be completely accurate but they were close enough that the differences were not a big deal.  Part of the issue is likely caused by the fact that all of the directions and all of the testing are done using the 32-bit version of the software and I am using the 64-bit version as well as installing it directly into a Xen virtual machine rather than to bare hardware.

Dominica came down to the basement and used her laptop for a long time so at least we got to spend the evening together.  I am so backed up on work that not sitting at my desk really is not a wise option.  Next week is going to be one of the busiest weeks ever so wasting any time is a very bad idea.

Next week we have nothing scheduled on Monday or Tuesday.  Then on Wednesday I am spending the day working out of Warren, New Jersey.  After work I am going to Morristown, NJ for the very first SpiceCorp NY meeting!  We are very excited about that and if you are a SpiceWorks user reading SGL then let me know and I will get you the information so that you can join us for drinks and networking in three days.

Then on Thursday originally we were going to travel but instead I am going to get as much work done as possible and then get up a little early on Friday and take part of the morning off so that we can drive from Peekskill to Frankfort first thing in the morning.  Then I will work the rest of the day from Frankfort.

Saturday morning I have to work and do everything that I can to finish by eleven thirty in the morning because at that time we are going to leave Frankfort and drive to Albany to go to Dominica’s brother Joe and Brit’s graduation ceremony from the Albany College of Pharmacy.  Then out to dinner and then off to Pavilion after we are all done there.

We will stay with my dad on Sunday night through Tuesday.  Then on Tuesday night we will drive back to Frankfort and spend the night there.  On Wednesday I will work from Frankfort during the day at that evening I have the professional advisory board meeting for Onondaga Community College’s computer science and computer information systems programs in Syracuse.

After the OCC meeting I will drive back to Frankfort, pick up the family and drive back down to Peekskill so that we can get back to our normal routines on Thursday morning.  And that is just the beginning.  We are booked to be out of town every weekend for the next two months, I believe, except for the weekend that the Ralstons are coming here before flying out to the Congo.  I am starting to be terrified by our upcoming schedule.  There is less and less chance for me to sleep being built into the plans while more and more driving keeps getting added.

Dominica started work on a Liesl blog tonight that you can check out at

I had to get a Windows Server 2003 machine installed tonight – no excuses.  So after everything else was done I got to work on that.  It was about one in the morning when the installation began.  Yikes.

Going out to Connecticut today was definitely a very bad idea.  I just have far too much work to do to even think about doing anything extra like that for the next few months.  There is no spare time.  Zero.  None.  Zilch.  Everything that I do that doesn’t involve work or sleep has to come out of either my work or sleep schedule and since work is very much deadline driven it pretty much comes out of my sleep which mostly just leaves my health left to give.

I got the Windows Server install done just to discover that the box was hacked so quickly that I wasn’t even able to log in before it was toast.  What a pain.  This is one of the hazards of needing to deploy to a remote virtual machine on a public connection – there is no way to apply the necessary patches before going out to get the patches.  And Microsoft blocks a lot of text-based web browsers from navigating the Microsoft web pages so getting copies of critical security files without a Windows machine working is nearly impossible.

I ended up working until after four in the morning!  What a long day.  I am expecting to be in bed by a quarter after four.  But we will see.

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