VMs and Softball

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:50 pm
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I have now been assigned a new VM at work on a physical server of a type that actually works with ClearCase. The investigation of why the other type of server is not working with ClearCase continues, but it is -- at least for now -- a matter of academic interest on my part rather than urgent need. Now, I just need to get the new VM configured, which is going to take days of installing software and source.

Meanwhile, Katie's team had a scrimmage against the other Des Plaines girls team today. Katie acquitted herself well, throwing out a runner at first from right field for the unusual 9-3 putout (looked like Kolten Wong out there :) ), walking, and lining a ball to right field for a two-run single with the bases loaded. (It might have been a double, but the runner on first stopped at second.)

Katie even caught an inning and didn't look too shabby back behind the plate.

(One of the other girls caught for what I think was the first time this season. She looked really good back there and it turns out that she likes to catch. The things you find out a few weeks into the season...)

Round and Round We Go

Sep. 20th, 2017 07:35 pm
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So it turns out that there is a known problem trying to use ClearCase from a Windows environment on the new physical servers. We are now trying to find me a VM on a different physical server.

Of course, sooner or later, they will want to retire that machine because it is not one of the shiny new servers.

I have to say, it would have been good if some of these issues had been discovered before I got to find them...

One Ping Only

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:30 pm
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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.

Run, Ruby, Run!

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:33 pm
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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. :)

Orville, Round Two

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:52 pm
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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. :)

Lessons in Sportsmanship

Sep. 16th, 2017 11:09 pm
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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. :)

Tales of the Mighty Hunter

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:08 pm
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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...

Everyone Knows It's Windy

Sep. 14th, 2017 10:14 pm
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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...

Back to Baseball

Sep. 13th, 2017 10:59 pm
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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!

2016-2017

Sep. 12th, 2017 09:33 am
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From September 4, 2016 to September 4, 2017 I...
...bought a mill
...made a railbike
...started making deep dives into philosophy (consciousness and math/science)
...did a kinetic sculpture installation, landed a large public art contract, started to get responses to RFQ submissions
...found out I might not need cardiac surgery within the next decade after all
...saw a total solar eclipse
...started the adjustment to living in a post-democratic world

I dunno. It's been a year. Not a good one for getting a lot done, or for feeling hopeful about the future. Not a good one for dealing with an anxiety disorder, either. I feel like I'm coasting. I'm more scared than excited to see what my 40s are going to be like, and not from standard fear of mortality reasons. Though those are certainly there too.

Writing these annual review posts is usually a lot more fun.

Orvilles and Means

Sep. 11th, 2017 10:19 pm
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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.

Still More Softball

Sep. 10th, 2017 10:37 pm
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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.

Yes, I'm Tired Again

Sep. 9th, 2017 10:30 pm
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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. :)

Less Baseball, More Softball

Sep. 8th, 2017 11:15 pm
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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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