March 14, 2019

Well, That Was Sporting

So we had a bit of weather blow through yesterday.

As is common in Colorado in late winter/early spring, we had bluebird perfect weather on Tuesday.  A high temp in the mid 50's, bright sun, few clouds... Just amazing. 

Then Tuesday night the rain started.  And come Wednesday morning, that rain changed to snow. 

A lot of snow.

And wind.  LOTS of wind.  Peterson AFB recorded 96 mph at one point. 

I made it through just fine.  Was in the office for the morning, then cut out around 2:00 pm when most of our customers decided to close their offices for the day. 

Jake dog was rather expedient in doing his business: Go out, piss on the closest shrub, then do a 180 and get back in.  I heated some venison and vegetable stew and watched some television. 

Major roads are actually in decent shape this morning.  Mad respect to those who drive the plow and salt truck in the overnight hours. 

Oh, and there was a little crash just north of me, near Wellington.  Good lord, folks: When every weather reporter is telling you to stay home and don't travel, you should listen.

February 28, 2019

Lay Down With Me

In May 2005, we met, and the bond was instantaneous.

I was walking in the desert just northeast of Phoenix, taking a hike on a pleasant day off, and about 600 yards from the truck I saw her.  She'd been tied off to a tree and left for dead.  Thin, dehydrated, pads of her paws torn and cracked, dried blood where they'd been cut as she vainly, furiously, tried to break free of the inhumane bond placed upon her by some worthless scumbag, her eyes turned to mine and silently she pleaded for help.

There was no decision making process involved.  I was going to take care of her, so I pulled out a pocket knife, cut the rope from her neck, carried her back to my vehicle, and drove her to the local veterinarian.  Within a few hours, I'd dropped several hundred dollars that I didn't really have to spare, and after some IV fluids, some antibiotics, and some wound care cream, we went home.

"Honey, I can explain" I told my then girlfriend, with whom I was living.

"You don't have to.  What's her name?"

"Haven't picked one yet.  In time, she will give herself a name.  I'm going to shower, then take a nap with my dog."

I laid down on the sofa, and she lay down beside me, my right arm hanging off the edge, resting softly on her chest, giving her a slow stroke back and forth, letting her feel love and acceptance that she'd never known before.  How could someone do this to such a gentle animal?, I wondered.

The television was on, Cubs and Brewers, I think it was, and a commercial break came on.  The television speakers tried to entice me into eating K.C. Masterpiece barbecue, and her ears perked up right quick at that.  Well, Casey it is, then...

We went on many adventures, that dog and I.  In the unbearable hot Phoenix summers, we'd load the tent and camp gear into the Jeep and drive up to Flagstaff, the additional 6000 feet of elevation providing a cooler climate.  I had my backpack, and she had hers.  Loaded with two liters of water, her food, sleeping pad, and bowls, she'd carry her own gear for miles on the trail, never losing stamina or energy.  8 miles into the trail, we'd stop, set up camp for the night, and she'd lay down with me, her head on my chest, and we'd sleep blissfully under the stars.

I moved back to Colorado in 2008, and she rode shotgun the entire drive up.  Curled up in the passenger seat, nary a sound of complaint for 16 hours of driving, and when we finally arrived, after a short run to stretch the legs, we turned in for the night.  It was a new, strange place with new smells, and for an attentive dog as she, it wasn't a terribly comfortable feeling, but I soothed her nerves, climbed into bed, and bid her to Lay Down with me.

The next adventure took us to Indiana when I got married.  We were about half way through, camped on the banks of the Missouri River, just west of Columbia, and a storm was rolling in.  I got my tent up and secured in a hurry, we crawled inside, and once again we lay down together, just a man and his dog, the closest bond known to humanity.

The years passed, as they will do, and she aged, as did I, but every chance we had, that dog and I would lay down together, just enjoying whatever moment we could.  From sleeping in my tiny 400 square foot studio after the divorce to sleeping in the bed of my pickup on the shores of Lake McConaughy in western Nebraska to laying under the vast Colorado night sky while watching a meteor shower... In nearly 14 years, she never left my side.

Canine Degenerative Myelopathy is a disease in dogs that is quite similar to Lou Gherig's Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) in humans.  The myelin sheath around the neurons of the nervous system breaks down, and that means that signals from the brain to the legs don't always get through.  This results in poor coordination, loss of balance, and eventually paralysis. For a dog who has spent a lifetime being active -- running, playing fetch, herding free range cattle or toddlers who stray too far from their humans -- being paralyzed is intolerable.

Yesterday, I asked her to lay down for the last time.

I'll see you at the bridge in due course, Casey.  Maybe we can lay down and take a nap before we cross over.

February 26, 2019

Legit LOL

That would be hysterical.

February 7, 2019

Blog Roll Addition

Added A Geek With Guns to the blog roll. 

Some good reading over there.  Get your click on.

February 6, 2019

Small Bite of Crow

Well, I kinda have to take a bite of crow.

Despite my last post being about preparedness in the event of a bit of hardship, I failed to notice something lacking in my own.

The weather app and assorted websites and local news channels were all telling me, for three or four days now, that there would be some snowfall today.  "Two to five inches!" they said. 

And they're right... It's been snowing for almost 3 hours now, and we've got a couple inches on the ground.  Radar shows more of the same for a while... Probably won't stop until tomorrow morning.

And while I was _reasonably_ sure I had a snow brush and window scraper in the bed of Tico the Taco(ma), I didn't actually, you know, confirm.

Imagine my dismay when I went to drive home for lunch and couldn't locate my snow brush.

Got a new one on my lunch break, so now I *KNOW* there's one in the truck. 

January 29, 2019

Failure to Plan

This morning, on the drive to work, I had the truck radio on the local news station, just to get a quick bit of what's going on, what the weather is going to be, sport scores, and the like.

Normally, it's the usual codswallop, but something I heard this morning made me turn my head and give the radio a quizzical look, like a dog trying to understand some strange command.

See, according to the voices on said radio, many of the food banks of Colorado are running "dangerously low" on inventory "due to the recent government shutdown."

Now I'm not here to say a damn thing about the (partial) government shutdown.  I've my own beliefs, I'll possibly write them down later, and you have yours and that's fine.

But this bit of news.... We're talking just over thirty total days, and when you plot that out over a calendar and highlight the every other Friday government employee paydays in yellow, we're talking two paychecks total (the sum total of which the employees will be getting paid now that the Dot Fed is back to business.)

So... You're telling me that in just over two weeks, these government employees not only burned through their entire bank account, but also the content of their food supply? 

Or did they not HAVE any savings and extra stores of food? 

Much like Peter over at Bayou Renaissance Man, I make it a point to have stored away a supply of assorted and sundry food.  As a rough guess, with what I have in the freezer and pantry, I wager I could go 45 days without needing to go to the grocery store.  Yes, there might be some rather bland meals that aren't worth blogging about (one can only store so many packages of beef short ribs, you understand), and sure, I might get tired of oatmeal after a few weeks, but necessity and luxury are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

I'll also admit, freely, that I don't have any additional mouths to feed.  It's not like I have three kids and a spouse and an elderly parent depending on me -- though if I did, you can bet your last dollar that I'd triple or quadruple my food stores -- for a meal. 

In addition to having extra food stocked up, I also have an emergency supply of cash and spending money available.  I've got a credit card with a decent limit and currently no balance, so spending $300 or more on a grocery run isn't a hardship.  Worst case, I dig into an envelope with a handful of $20 bills that I've got stashed away. 

My point is this: "Prepping for the Zombie Apocalypse" is really just a funny euphemism for being prepared to deal with unexpected, and unpleasant, times.  Like, say, two weeks or so without a paycheck. 

If you don't have supplies of a quantity sufficient to go three weeks without a grocery store run, I feel that you're just asking for trouble.

Failing to Plan is planning to fail. 

January 8, 2019

Back to the Grind

It's rather nice when Christmas falls on a Tuesday or Friday.  Typically, boss man gives us Christmas Eve off, then add in Christmas Day, Saturday, and Sunday, and you've got yourself a nice 4 day weekend. 

Even better, New Year's Day is the same, so we get to do the same 4 day weekend the following week.

The down side, of course, is that you've only got 3 days to take care of your workload, and getting five days worth of work done in three days is... well, challenging... but the spirit of the holidays usually helps, as folks know and understand that we're not going to be working on Christmas. 

Had a bit of a scare this year, however: On Friday, 21 December, around 4:30 pm, the Hyper-V Host server at one of our bigger clients decided to shut down.  And by shut down, I mean "Shut down like someone pulled both power cords from the back of the server" shut down. 

Not a graceful shutdown.  No sir... Just *bam* you're powered off. 

They have the 24/7 Four Hour Support contract on this server, so if it requires parts or a vendor-certified technician, we have that going for us. 

So, after opening a support ticket with the vendor, I called the customer and made some arrangements with her to meet me at the office the next morning.  On Saturday, I went on site and followed the instructions from vendor support: Remove both power cables, press and release the power button ten times, and on the eleventh push, hold it in for 30 seconds (I held it for 35 seconds, because I'm a rebel).  Then connect the power cables and turn it on. 

To my amazement, that actually worked, and the server powered back up. 

Both Hyper-V guest servers came back on line, and all was well with the world... No longer have to get parts and work on Sunday, or Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day rebuilding the thing.  It's a Festivus Miracle!

The strange thing is that all diagnostics came back clean, and that means I have no idea what caused the crash.  That sorta bothers me.

At any rate, those 4 day weekends are done, and now it's back to the normal 8-5, Mon-Fri grind. 

December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas to All

From me and mine, to you and yours, I wish a very Merry Christmas to you all.

Today has been pleasant, actually, for flying solo on Christmas day.  The Hounds actually let me sleep in late, until 0715 or thereabouts.  I let them out, made myself a pot of coffee using some really nice beans I picked up on Sunday at a local coffee shop.  Most days it's just Folger's, but Christmas morning calls for something better. 

Once the coffee kicked in, I cooked a breakfast of ham, eggs, hash browns, and toast, with orange juice and more coffee.

Took the dogs for a walk, and now I'm settled in with my book, some jazz in the background (never have been a big fan of Christmas music 24-7 during the holiday season... I don't mind it now and then, but it's all I've heard for WEEKS now, and I'm over it), and I suspect a nap is in order soon.

May the new year bring you love, peace, joy, and prosperity.

December 18, 2018

Things That Are NOT Going to Happen

Assorted requests from customers at work the past few days:

"We want to use this software, and here are the system requirements." 

OK... let's see.... 8 GB of RAM, that's no problem.  At least 500 GB hard drive, again no worries.  FTP access with port 22 open on the firewall?  Yeah, that's NOT going to happen.

"I'm having trouble getting remote access to a computer at another office.  I want you to give me the login information for the router so I can make changes."

Let me think about that.... No.

"Our staff doesn't want to have to enter a password for the staff WiFi, so just disable that and let us connect without a password."

How about no?

"Can you make me a domain administrator so I can install this cute font that I found on a website on all computers?"

Can I?  Yes, I can.  Will I?  Nope. 

"Just make my password something simple, like 123456."

Why, because you're not smart enough to remember a proper password?


Good lord, sometimes I hate working in this field.

December 6, 2018


Sorry for the lack of content.  Been busier than heck with work stuff.

Go read folks on the sidebar.  They write better stuff anyway.