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25th-Feb-2017 07:09 pm - Unboxing Day
Gretchen had threatened an assault on the library, which still has a number of boxes left unpacked since the renovation in the summer of 2015. Late this afternoon, I decided to take a run at it.

I managed to empty and break down three medium U-Haul boxes. Not all of the things in them have arrived at their final resting places, but it's progress. This gets us down to two medium boxes in the room, both of which seem to contain mostly "kid-stuff" of one kind or another.

In the meantime, we found (in no particular order):

  • The Raiders of the Lost Ark framed mini-poster that Gretchen gave me, which will hang over the pinball machine in the basement once it is unearthed.
  • My SCA knife
  • The French language manual for the Yamaha mixer, which has now gone into recycling
  • Julie's Fluttershy stuffed pony
  • My missing baseball glove :)
  • Two Cardinals baseball caps, one that fits, one that doesn't
  • A whole bunch of Cubs bobblehead dolls from ballpark giveaways
  • And other items too numerous to be listed here...

    Hey, it's progress!
  • 24th-Feb-2017 11:55 pm - Bad News, Good News
    The bad news is that Katie's tablet has stopped working. There's no apparent damage, but it won't wake up or accept a charge, from the look of things.

    The good news is that the tablet is under warranty.

    The bad news is that it's a carry-in or depot warranty.

    The good news is that there's a service center diagonally across the street from T-Bob's Barbeque. :)

    The service center may or may not be open on Saturday. We'll see.
    23rd-Feb-2017 11:55 pm - Oh, Heck. Or Words Like That.
    Yesterday, I discovered that someone had (in error) created a new session object and left it to hang around forever.

    Further investigation showed that had happened more than once, sometimes with big blocks of memory left attached to the session.

    I have now exterminated those cases.

    I also did a massive cut-and-paste operation to insert code that would throw an exception every time that an attempt to assert a transient lock failed. (Normally, it should wait a short period of time, the other lock should clear, and the operation should complete.) This was frustrating, but in the defense of the folks who wrote the code that wasn't throwing the exception, I hadn't added the quick-and-easy method of throwing the exception with all of the error information in it when they first started using the locks, so...

    (Now, it's just call the constructor for the exception and pass in the lock object so that it can load up from the failure info. One line, nice and easy does it. This is because I am lazy and don't want to write this code more than once. :) )

    All of this fell into the category of "more fun than human programmers should be allowed to have".
    22nd-Feb-2017 10:27 pm - Bank Wars
    I need to find time to go to the bank.

    See, the conversion was over the weekend. I have managed to activate two of the three online banking accounts that I work with, but the third is tied to a phone number that -- as nearly as I can tell -- no longer exists, so the automatic procedures aren't working.

    Oh, and a personal money market account that I closed last year has shambled, zombie-like, back into existence with a $0.00 balance.

    Also, I would like to be able to pay some bills, but although I have all of the account numbers, I do not have the routing number for the bank in any of the voluminous correspondence that they have sent.

    I understand the first two of the three problems that I am dealing with, but the third seems just a bit silly.

    21st-Feb-2017 10:11 pm - Back to Work
    It was a four day weekend for me -- so today, there was plenty to do at work.

    The good news is that I think I've found the particular bit of evil code that someone else wrote that is creating mischief. Now I just need to unwind it...
    20th-Feb-2017 11:03 pm - Bonus Softball
    The weather being unexpectedly good for February, the softball league took advantage of the holiday to invite the girls out for some practice. Julie was a bit under the weather and decided not to go ultimately, but Katie played and had a good time, hitting the ball well several times.

    Me? I pitched some batting practice and shagged balls.

    It'll do for February.
    19th-Feb-2017 08:03 pm - Home From Capricon
    And we're back from Capricon after a nice dinner with assorted Midkiffs and Romans.

    Ruby is very happy to see us.
    17th-Feb-2017 07:26 am - Stress? Sure, Got Some of That...
    Last night, I dreamed that I had completely spaced Saturday's SpaceTime Theater show at Capricon and failed to show up for it. *sigh*

    Too much to do, not enough time to do it. :)

    See you at the con!
    16th-Feb-2017 12:15 pm - Packed!
    The van is packed up and ready to go to Capricon. We're not ready, but that's a different problem altogether.

    Having succeeded in reordering from most of our suppliers, we have more CDs than we have had in quite a while. This includes quadrivium's Scattering Seeds on the Pomegranate Tour and two new albums from Heather Dale, Spark and Queens of Avalon with S.J. Tucker and the matching DVD for the latter. (Matching the CD, not Sooj. :) )

    Now, if I can just get done with work...
    15th-Feb-2017 11:07 pm - Big, Slow Download
    I'm working on downloading the particular Linux version that I'm planning on installing on the laptop. I'm a stunning third of the way through it. Chrome claims it will be another hour. We'll see how that goes.
    14th-Feb-2017 10:13 pm - Salvage
    I have an old Toshiba laptop running Windows Vista that has become increasingly crochety about it. I've decided to try loading one variant or another of Linux on it and see if it becomes more useful.

    Having seen a similar old Toshiba laptop doing so earlier this evening at the girls' school encourages me. :)
    13th-Feb-2017 11:25 pm - Old Bugs, Old Bugs
    There is nothing like finding a really old bug in the code.

    Today, someone sent me a file and said, "This won't open. It doesn't open in the older version either."

    I tried opening the file and discovered that they were correct. Hmm. I opened up the file in an editor just to check and make sure that it was, in general, correctly formatted, which it was. Of course, there could be something more subtle wrong.

    Nope, nothing subtle about it at all.

    Someone had once -- and against my advice -- put in a check for the specific file extension that we use for our files to solve a particular problem that they were dealing with. That obviously wasn't the problem here, because the file had the correct extension.

    In ALL CAPS. Darned shame that whoever was checking for the extension had written code that checked for the extension in all lower case.

    The comparison is now case-insensitive.

    And the very old bug has gone away.
    12th-Feb-2017 11:23 pm - Spring Training
    Today was the first of the two evaluation sessions for girls' softball. We figured best to go now and get things out of the way.

    Before lunch, while we were waiting to get everyone into the van, I spent some time throwing the ball with Katie and then with Julie, it being a decently warm and sunny day. Then we piled into the van, grabbed lunch, and proceeded to the evaluations.

    Katie and Julie did reasonably well. They both still need to do a lot of work on pitching, but that's not a great surprise.

    Late in the afternoon, after they got back from a friend's house, we went out in the field behind the house -- much to Ruby's distress! -- and I pitched a bit of batting practice. It was really getting too cold for that with the wind though and we wrapped it up when Julie hit quite a stinger and decided that hurt more than enough.

    But it's a start!
    11th-Feb-2017 06:18 pm - Chaos? Yeah, We've Got Some...
    See, they sold my bank.

    This happens to us periodically. This is the bank where Gretchen used to work. The original parent bank sold off the suburban branches to a bank from downstate after a management shakeup. Then they got into trouble and sold themselves to a bank from California and Missouri who figured that penetrating the Chicago market would be a piece of cake. When that didn't work out for them, they sold the Chicago area branches to a bank from Ohio who figured that penetrating the Chicago market would be a piece of cake. (Still wasn't, but at least they tried advertising.) So now, that bank has sold all of itself to a different Ohio bank.

    The changeover to the new online banking system will be next weekend while we're at Capricon. It is also just about the time of year when I make sure that I've downloaded all of the banking info for Dodeka and ISFiC Press so that I can work through the taxes.

    So I downloaded all of that today and printed out all of the check images so that I have them safely on my computer.

    I also went to StubHub and put together a big spreadsheet so I could figure out what I made from selling Cubs tickets last season. This has never been a problem before, because the only question would be how much money I had lost on my Cubs tickets, with the losses being (sadly) not deductible. Gains, on the other hand...

    Having done all that, I thought about the issue of having all of this data "safely" on my computer. And I looked at the NAS sitting on my desk that should hold my backup.

    Why is that not powered on?

    So I powered it on.

    And apparently, the backup that I started when I got the NAS had never finished.

    It is running now. When that is done, I will back up all of the music on the Dodeka side of the machine.

    This will take a while... :)
    10th-Feb-2017 11:55 pm - Home and Awake
    I got back from San Jose after an hour flight delay going into LAX. This eventually meant that I made it home around 2:45 AM last night, which was way too late and even later by the time I finally crawled into bed.

    I will eventually catch up on sleep.

    In the meantime, the meetings were a fine thing. Now, I just need to catch up on bug fixing.
    7th-Feb-2017 11:18 pm - Bocce
    Today, the meeting at work went out for lunch and bocce ball. It turns out that experience with bowling and putting helped a lot with this game that I had never played before. :)
    6th-Feb-2017 10:37 pm - Knowing the Way to San Jose
    It turns out that getting to San Jose is only the beginning of the problem. You must then avoid getting lost while there.

    I failed to print out directions to the office before leaving home. This eventually resulted in my pulling over in a parking space and enabling voice instructions from Google Maps on my phone to the great detriment of the battery.

    We printed out mostly correct directions to the hotel before I left work, but then I decided to head out to find some food after checking in. And I missed a turn. Oops.

    There wasn't enough charge in the phone to risk Google Maps again, but dead reckoning eventually got me to the restaurant. After dinner, I headed back to the hotel.

    And missed a turn. And wound up back at the airport.

    Stop laughing.

    One more missed turn later, I finally got back to the hotel.

    I think daylight will help tomorrow.

    I hope.
    5th-Feb-2017 11:22 pm - Leaving On a Jet Plane
    I have to get up at 5 AM tomorrow to fly out of town for a business trip. Why do I still have so many things I need to do before going to bed?
    4th-Feb-2017 11:18 pm - Wildlife by Night
    Being married with kids is usually a good way to avoid leading a wild life at night -- well, other than trying to get the kids to bed, which is still an ongoing project at this moment. This is partly due to a problem with wildlife at night.

    We let Ruby the Dog out to let her clear out her tanks before going to bed. This is normally not a complex process, especially on a cold, dark night. It probably would not have been tonight either.

    Except that Ruby the Dog saw the raccoon.

    Barking ensued. Barking that could wake the dead. Lots of barking.

    I was already upstairs by this time. Gretchen spent some time calling Ruby, trying to get her to come in the house. This might have worked if the raccoon had any sense and had decided to go down the side of the fence where the dog was not.

    Instead, the raccoon sat on top of the fence post and hissed at the dog.

    Who barked. A lot.

    Eventually, Gretchen asked me to try calling her from the office window which did approximately zero good.

    What I really needed at this point was old Urse, who would have just eaten the fence. On the other hand, I didn't really want to fix the fence, so probably just as well.

    Finally, I went downstairs, put on my coat, grabbed a flashlight, and headed to the bottom of the yard to try to persuade Ruby to come in.

    Fat chance.

    "Boss! Boss! Look what I found!"

    Yes, I know.

    I eventually found a piece of debris -- some sort of plastic basket -- and chucked it in the raccoon's direction. I missed high and to the left.

    A plastic bucket also missed high and to the left. These will need to be recovered from the schoolyard tomorrow.

    I found a big old stick. That missed low.

    The raccoon was going nowhere.

    However, apparently my presence and intervention with the raccoon was enough to satisfy Ruby who finally followed me up to the door and into the house.

    I closed the door. Quickly.

    With luck, the raccoon will decide to be somewhere else tomorrow.
    3rd-Feb-2017 10:24 pm - Rehearsal Tomorrow
    We're rehearsing for our Capricon SpaceTime Theater show tomorrow.

    I have to remember to be funny. Funny would be good.
    2nd-Feb-2017 11:13 pm - Kids Got Talent
    The audition for the talent show at the girls' school was tonight. It looks like it will be interesting. Both Katie and Julie tried out and we expect they'll be in the show.
    1st-Feb-2017 10:56 pm - Busy Day
    I have gotten many things accomplished today. Unfortunately, I forgot one.

    Time to go back downstairs and take care of it. :)
    31st-Jan-2017 11:17 pm - I Can Haz a Softball Glove
    So last summer, when I went to practice softball with Katie and Julie, I was a bit hampered by the fact that my baseball glove of recent vintage (recent meaning only about 20 years old) was missing. We managed to find my old glove from my freshman year of high school, but my hand has grown a fair amount since then and the glove was small enough that it hurt to wear it for any length of time. It was what we call a sub-optimal situation.

    For Christmas, Katie and Julie gave me a gift card to use to buy a new softball glove. I could have gone to the sporting goods store to look for a new glove, but instead I headed off with the family to the used equipment store out in Schaumburg. I checked out the new gloves there first. There was one glove that would have been serviceable, but which wasn't quite right.

    And then I found the section with the used gloves. This one, no. That one, no. This one -- perfect! It was an old Spalding actual softball -- not baseball! -- glove that fit my hand, well, like a glove.

    And it was only $30.

    Obviously, this was meant to be my glove. And it has come home for me.

    Now, I just need to wait for it to get warm... :)
    30th-Jan-2017 11:55 pm - Back to School
    Both girls went to school today. Neither came home sick.

    We will take this as a positive development in our attempt to beat back the strep bug. :)
    29th-Jan-2017 11:11 pm - Slow Day
    There were a great many things to do today. Some of them got done. Others didn't.

    Maybe tomorrow. :)
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