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Several months ago, I got an email letting me know that they were going to retire the server that my VM for work runs on and that I would be getting a new VM. This would have been fine if the new VM was actually equivalent to my old VM. However, it wasn't.

See, various development organizations had negotiated with IT years ago as to what type of VM developers needed. That included a big chunk of disk storage, because there are development tools and a metric ton of source code (in multiple versions) that take up a big chunk of disk storage. When the new machines were being allocated, they did not have the agreed upon amount of disk storage, because the new servers did not have as much disk storage per CPU as the old servers. In fact, they did not have as much storage as people were actually using on a per-user basis.

This seems to me to indicate that -- just maybe -- someone did a lousy job of specifying the new server configurations. But these are the servers that we have.

So I went to my boss and, instead of using the quota that had been allocated to me, he gave me a nice shiny new VM with everything that I needed. I configured it and was as happy as a clam.

For about two months, until they decided they were going to retire the physical server that hosted my new VM.

So I have a new VM now on a new machine. I have spent several days configuring it.

It will not successfully talk to the ClearCase server in the same data center.

I am not very happy about this.
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It is just amazing how much Ruby the Dog enjoys having Uncle Jeff come to visit. She is one very tired dog tonight. :)
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The second episode of The Orville aired tonight. Gretchen and I watched it in almost-real-time, since it had been delayed by the football game.

It was good. It was actually good enough that Gretchen is now worried about the fate of the series, because she thinks that there is not enough audience that will be able to figure out what it is trying to be.

It's sort of like it's trying to be funnier than, say, Castle, but not as over-the-top as Quark.

And it's not any sillier in the important plot points than Star Trek: TOS.

I'm encouraged.

I'm also encouraged that FOX hasn't thrown it up against the future Big Bang Theory Thursday night time slot to die.

We'll see.

A Good Try

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:44 pm
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Katie's softball team was playing one of the team's from the "major" division in the league. These are generally the older, more experienced girls. Despite this, they came very close to winning, taking an 8-4 lead, but a bad inning did them in and they lost 9-8.

It was a heckuva game though. They done good. :)
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So last weekend, Katie's team lost to a team that we've played in the past in other incarnations of the league. They're a good team, but they tend to be, might I say, a little aggressive about the rules. Aggressive to the point where, on at least one occasion, the folks organizing a tournament had to tell them "No, you can't do that," after they had pushed the ump into allowing them to do a certain thing against our team. Of course, that didn't help us; only the teams they played subsequently.

Anyway, last weekend, we got caught by a rule that is supposed to allow teams that are trailing going to the last inning a chance to catch up by allowing an unlimited number of runs to be scored in a half inning instead of five. The problem was that we hadn't done something that is required by the letter of the rule, so the spirit of the rule could go to heck. Ok, our fault. I've talked with the manager and we're adding armor to our process so that this doesn't happen again.

As it happens, the other team from Des Plaines was playing this team this weekend. So both our manager and I had briefed them on what had happened to us.

This time around, it happened that the Des Plaines team had a big lead. They scored five runs in the top of a late inning and called their girls off the field. The manager of the team that we had played then came out to argue that this was the last inning and that the inning should continue so that they would have a chance to score unlimited runs in the bottom of the last inning and, thus, have a chance to win.

That is to say, they tried to talk the ump into doing exactly the opposite of what they'd asked to have done the previous week when they were playing us.

Properly briefed, the other Des Plaines team pulled out the rule sheet, pointed to the rule and said, "We don't think so."

And the team that had (admittedly correctly) had the rule enforced against us last week got it enforced against them this week.

Oh, darn.

The rule is actually fundamentally broken as written, because it requires both managers and the umpire to agree that the last inning is the last inning. If one team is ahead by more than five runs going to what would obviously be the last inning, then I cannot understand what -- other than a belief in sportsmanship that appears to not always be in evidence -- would cause them to agree that this is the last inning. I mean, the sixth inning is the theoretic last inning, but since there is a hard two-hour time limit on the games, none of the regular season games go six innings. Most go four.

Ah, well. In any case, justice was served today.

Cold. :)
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Of course, I'm talking about Ruby the Dog here.

You may remember the invasion of the chipmunk from several weeks ago. The chipmunk decided to come back into the house a few days ago, earning him his new name, assigned by Gretchen who watched him pop in through the open back door, right onto the must-smell-exactly-like-dog rug that Ruby likes to lie on in front of the door.

That would, unsurprisingly, be Dumbass. Because you just have to be exceptionally stupid for a chipmunk to come back to play with the dog again. Happily, Dumbass was easily chased back out the door this time, without ending up underneath various bits of furniture. I missed all of this excitement, not having gotten downstairs yet.

But I did not miss last night's excitement.

See, I had promised to take Katie (and by extension the rest of the family) out for frozen custard last night in repayment of some minor slight that she felt that she was suffering through. It was getting late enough that it was definitely time to be going, so we just needed to let Ruby in from the back yard, get her in her kennel, and proceed on our way.

Ruby was on the back porch, so it was a simple matter of getting Julie to let her in.

"Aaaugh! Ruby's got an animal in her mouth."

And Gretchen said, "I don't do dead animals".

Julie: "She dropped it. It's breathing!"

Me: "Ok, not a dead animal."

Gretchen: "Oh, no. You don't try that, mister!"

Me: "Everybody out to the car. I will deal with Ruby."

Julie: "But it's alive! She's licking it!"

Me: "Go to the car."

Julie: "I can hold the flashlight for you."

Me: "Everybody go to the car. Now!"

Finally, everyone else was kicked out the door. Let me grab a Pupperoni to lure Ruby into her kennel. Hand into bag of treats.

Bag of treats is filled with dust.

Ok, I can grab the Beggin' Strips that I bought at Sam's Club. They're right here. Let me cut the two bags apart. Now I will tear off the easy-open strip and--

The bag won't open.

What you don't know is that the bruising on my injured left foot has progressed to the point where standing in one place hurts like hell. Moving is fine. What can I say?

I am now standing in one place and becoming progressively more furious because I had had to stand around (ouch!) waiting for everyone to get out the door, then stand around to open this lousy bag, then find some scissors to work around the not-so-well-designed easy-open strip. Yes, there is nothing like pain to improve one's mood.

Eventually, I got some fakin' bacon out of the bag and opened the back door cautiously to let Ruby in. I did not see an animal either in her mouth or on the porch. Hmm.

I got Ruby in her kennel and eventually figured out where Julie had put the flashlight so I could shine it out on the stoop. Nothing there.

On the other hand, the brightly glowing blue and orange running shoe belonging to Katie was obvious at the edge of the grass where Ruby had stolen it in an effort to get someone to chase her outside and play with her. I suppose I had better get the shoe back.

And at the edge of the patio, curled up in a little ball, was a very bedraggled and damp looking baby possum, about the size of a saucer. It wasn't moving.

I recovered the shoe and went inside. I considered the chances were fair that the possum was, as possums do, playing possum. I went to the car and reported this to the family.

When we got home, I checked the patio. There was no possum to be found.

We will now see if the possum is smarter than Dumbass...
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It was a happy surprise to discover that Gretchen's brother, Jeff, was in town and had called Gretchen to arrange to meet us for breakfast over at T-Bob's this morning. The conversation was very silly, to the point where I do not remember what prompted this to come out of my mouth, but suddenly I announced:

"That's it! Gale Force Boobs!"

I am not sure exactly what this would mean or how they might work, but I have this nasty suspicion that they have something in common with Earthquake Pills...
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I finally made it back down to Wrigley Field with a friend of mine and we watched as the Cubs demolished the Mets. Seeing the Mets get demolished is generally a good thing, even in their current piteous state...

Half Day

Sep. 12th, 2017 10:36 pm
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The girls had a half day off from school today, which maximized the amount of chaos around the house. But nothing too odd happened, so...

I am continuing my work on porting our C++/C# code up to Visual Studio 2017. This would be less entertaining if Microsoft hadn't changed their locale support in the CRT library around to hide all of the internals. Gack!
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Gretchen and I watched the pilot for The Orville last night. It was interesting. I'm not yet sure it is viable, but I could have said the same after the first episode of The Big Bang Theory.

Obviously, the series owes a major debt to Star Trek. Listening to the musical soundtrack was really interesting as I was going "Ok, there's the Enterprise theme turned inside out. Hey, here are the enemy stormtroopers and we're getting that theme from Star Wars turned inside out." ("Turned inside out" is my technical shorthand for "Let's write something that sounds like the original without actually being the original." It's a handy recipe for a pastiche.)

Of course, the whole series is a pastiche. And that may be ok. I'm familiar with many of the actors in the ensemble and overall it's a strong group. If the writers figure out how to write for them, it could be pretty good. If not, well, science fiction on Fox. What did you expect?

Gretchen observes that there's a raunchy edge to the humor that may keep parents from letting their younger kids (and quite possibly their older kids) from watching it. That won't likely be good for ratings.

And the show is playing fair with the viewers. Was there anyone watching the episode who didn't go, "Oh, look! The Captain has a pocketful of redwood trees."? It was like finding a gun and a bust of Chekhov on the mantel. Given the debt to Star Trek, I guess a bust of Mr. Chekov would have been most appropriate...

We'll see what they decide to grow up to be.
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Well, the girls played hard today, but they lost. In this case, they lost to a team where it seems like every time we play them there is at least one more dispute over the league rules for the division.

Now, I'll say that the rules are not well-written (in my opinion, as someone who has to write rules in a way that a computer can execute them -- and remembering that a computer is not smart, it is merely accurate), but after a while, this becomes tiresome.

Ah, well. Another valuable life lesson for Katie about sportsmanship, I suppose.
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The good news is that I seem to be recovering from my head cold, but it has left me very tired. And I have to get up early tomorrow morning, as Katie's team has a softball game at 9:30 AM.

The girls won today's game by a score of 11-1. All of the girls pitched well, including Katie, who allowed the game's only run due to an errant pitch that hit the first batter that she faced and who eventually came around to score. But strikes were thrown, which is the objective. :)
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I had made plans to go to tonight's Cubs/Brewers game -- a first-time regular season Friday night game by special dispensation from the City Council -- and then I came down with a nasty head cold last night. I kept trying to convince myself that I would make it to the game with a friend of mine, at least until about 2 PM when I gave it up. It turns out that my friend was coming down with something to, so I suppose it was all for the best.

Especially because Katie has softball on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. I am feeling enough better, having taken it easy today, that I expect that I will be able to make it to both games.

Whee!
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Katie's softball team has five coaches including me. This means that there is usually plenty of help.

Except tonight was Curriculum Night at Katie's school, so I had begged off so that I could go while Gretchen watched Julie at home. I'd made arrangements to drop Katie with Coach Tina so she'd have a ride to practice tonight, which was supposed to be a scrimmage against another team.

Except that Tina was sick. And Coach Jennifer was planning to go to Curriculum Night at her school. So I swung by Tina's house, picked up the team gear, put it in my trunk, and make plans to drop Katie at practice and go tearing back across town to Curriculum Night.

Except that Coach Bob's daughter became ill. His wife was going to Curriculum Night at our school, so he needed to take care of his sick daughter.

We were now down to one coach.

We decided the better part of valor was to call the other team and cancel out rather than make everyone crazy.

I think this was a good call. :)

Plugh!

Sep. 6th, 2017 11:27 pm
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I am trying to port some of our old code to Visual Studio 2017. Unfortunately, the programmer who wrote one of the sections of code used some internal structures relating to locales that are no longer exposed by the header files. I understand why he did it, but I now get to figure out how to disentangle it.

This is about as much fun as it sounds like. :)
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Those of you who have read Dilbert may be familiar with Mordak, the Preventer of Information Services. He was running amok at work today.

Tomorrow will, I hope, be better. :)
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I got more and less accomplished this weekend than I might have hoped. I never did make it to the studio to do any mixing. But the house is ready for the cleaning lady to come tomorrow, thanks to a couple of rounds of cleaning over the weekend.

And the ceiling in the bathroom is finally painted. The girls had a lovely sleepover with one friend and a pool party at a different friend's house today.

I am now ready to go to the bank to handle a variety of deposits that need to be made to sort out various financials. The late sales tax return for ISFiC was filed.

And the steaks, which I had purchased to grill on Saturday, were finally introduced to the charcoal today. :)

I so needed this weekend. :)

Empty House

Sep. 3rd, 2017 11:01 pm
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Katie and Julie are over at a sleepover at a friend's house tonight. It is remarkably quiet here, at least now that Ruby the Dog has stopped barking and gone to bed. :)
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So the way the project went was this:

We had the roof redone early this summer. They were able to remove the old skylight in the bathroom and replace it with a light pipe, because we had discovered in the intervening 20 years since the house was built that a skylight over the shower is a magnet for condensation in cold weather and that is followed by all manner of beasties growing there that we did not want.

But the fellows doing the roof don't do interior work. So we hired a contractor through a friend who came in, did the necessary drywall work, and made sure that the light pipe lens was correctly affixed to the new drywall.

Cleverly, I told him that I could paint the ceiling myself.

Today, we finally painted the ceiling in the bathroom. This was a bit more of an adventure than I might have hoped, but the fact that Katie really wanted to help and is tall enough to stand on the vanity and do the edging work over the lights there was a great aid in getting this done.

We still need to remove the masking tape and put everything back, but -- for all practical purposes -- this project is finally done.

OS Wars

Sep. 1st, 2017 11:55 pm
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I may have gotten Katie's computer working again with a bare metal reinstall of Windows 10. The number of little glitches in this version is dismaying. The Wi-Fi kept cutting out on this box -- not on the identical one that Gretchen and Julie use -- for reasons that appear to be subject to any number of voodoo solutions. One of them seems to have worked.

Of course, I spent some time before applying a voodoo solution to get Windows 10 to stop thrashing my hard disk on my computer in the last two days, so...

I understand that there are some difficulties in getting an OS to run on a variety of hardware choices. Even so, this is just being exceptional.

And not in a good way.

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