August 14, 2009: Fifteen and a Half Hours

Started work at six thirty again this morning.  Today is going to be a really long day.  No way around that.  No chance to any time off at all today.

Work was pretty busy all day.  It is Friday so that is to be expected.

We really wanted to get the printer working in the basement today after the new cleanup and rearranging of everything with the new desks so Dominica spent quite a bit of time building a new CAT6 cable for the basement.  The CAT6 RJ45 connectors that we have are awful and getting them to work is nearly impossible.  After building the cable twice and not having it work her hands were hurting and so I gave it a try.  It probably took more than an hour of effort to finally get a cable that registered as good and strung through the room.  Then, once we finally hooked up the printer to it, we discovered that only about a quarter or less of the packets are making it through the wire.

I did some checking and it appears that none of the CAT6 cables in the house are working reliably.  Apparently we have to start over with our house cabling.  Now we don’t know if the problems are the ends or if the cables themselves are bad or if there is some interference in the house causing issues or what.  I tried using the wireless to use the printer and that didn’t work either.  Although I suspect that that is because we have the wireless unit sitting on a wire mesh shelving unit that is probably wreaking havoc with the wireless signals.

[On Saturday morning I moved the wireless unit from the wire mesh stand and placed it on the floor sitting on the tile that we bought from Home Depot the other day.  This removed the wire mesh obstacle from the signal path and also moved the wireless unit as much as three feet closer to the printer.  Once I did that and tried the printer again our connection was solid without any dropped packets at all (over wireless.)  So I am pretty certain that the wire mesh stand really is the issue.  It is only a temporary stand that we are using until we get our cabinet built for the living room.  Then it will become a storage shelf unit in the utility closet where no wireless is needed and there will already be a large baker’s rack blocking signals anyway.]

So our plan is to hit Home Depot this weekend and to pick up different RJ45 connectors and to give them a try to see if we start getting better results.  What a pain.  Making cables is not fun and takes forever.  We also don’t have a large amount of spare GigE equipment in the house that we can just spend time testing.

We were pretty frustrated after all of that work that we didn’t even have a working printer!  Both of us were really needing to use the printer today as well.

Dominica spent the day cleaning the house.  Originally we had been expecting her parents to be coming down tomorrow morning to visit but instead, they are coming down this evening after work.  So we are in a bit of a panic to clean the house today.  That pretty much leaves Dominica with the cleaning as I just have a ridiculous amount of work to do today.

One of the big jobs today was moving stuff up into the attic.  We have a lot of boxes and baby stuff that we no longer need that needs to be stored.  So we started taking stuff into the attic but the moment that we opened the attic door we saw some massive wasp or wasp-like thing flying around.  This is not the first time that we had a wasp exit the attic the instant that we began opening the attic door.  This is rather disconcerting.

I decided that it was rather dangerous for me to stand on the attic ladder, hanging over the stairway, if a wasp might fly down and scare the crap out of me because I could easily fall down the stairs.  Dominica agreed.  So we only put items into the attic that I could get up there by standing on the lower half of the ladder which was about half of the stuff.  All of the boxes were able to go up that way.

Back to work for me.  I ended up working until around ten this evening.  What a long day.   Fifteen and a half hours!  And the week is not nearly over yet.

The Toccos arrived in Peekskill around nine.  They had a really tough drive.  Dexter, their Boston Terrier who is a year or two older than Oreo and extremely nervous when traveling causing him to have to be drugged in order to be able to go in the car, had a really bad “accident” about halfway to our house and it was all over the car and all over him.  He didn’t even know that he had done it.  What a mess!  Poor little dog.  He had two baths immediately upon arriving at our place.  He was none too happy about that.

Dominica’s father discovered the evil wasp creature in the upstairs bathroom and was able to kill it.  I had my suspicions that it would leave the attic once it knew that we were around (and that there was air conditioning just a few feet away from the sauna in which it has been living.)  So at least the one creature about which we knew is no longer in the attic.

We decided to make another trip up.  Dominica’s dad handed me stuff and I placed it around the attic.  The big items going up tonight were Liesl’s two swings.  She has really grown and is no longer needing a swing in which to sleep.  It is kind of sad.  That was such a major part of her being a baby.  She was so cute sleeping in her swing in the living room.  Now those days are gone.  It is amazing how quickly you lose pieces of your kids’ childhoods.  They go through stages so quickly.

I did some attic cleaning while I was up there.  We often just toss things up intending to stack them or whatever later so this was a chance to put things into some kind of order.  It was like a sauna though and the sweat was just pouring off of me.  I can only imagine that it was over a hundred degrees up there.  It sure felt like it.  In the high nineties at the very least.  It was good to get stuff put up there.  That was something that really needed to be done.

I went to bed early around ten.  I have to be up before six tomorrow so I need a chance to get some rest.  It is really hard to go straight from work to sleep, though, so I played Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen on the Nintendo DS for about half an hour.  I am at the beginning of chapter three which has a really boring part which was perfect for putting me to sleep really quickly.

Tomorrow I start work at six and hopefully will be done in time for lunch.  There is a lot to be done.  Early morning deployments for the Middle East and then Red Hat Linux system updates for much of the day.

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