School and Lexi

First, Lexi … She’s a dog who epitomizes dogness, especially in the napping department. But when it comes to bed neatness, well, it’s not her long suit. This bed had been made, before Lexi decided to climb back in for a late afternoon nap:

Lexi vs. the bedding

Lexi vs. the bedding

You say, no, that’s not Lexi … You’re the slob, Brian. Not so. See:

Lexi uncovered

Lexi uncovered

But she’s not very good at looking guilty, is she?

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When all was said and done with the PeopleSoft upgrade of MyUMUC, many things were broken. THANKS, UMUC! For one thing, my instructor from the Software Engineering course has been unable to submit grades, so I don’t have my grade to submit for reimbursement. Grrr. THANKS, UMUC!

Worse, the student advising tool, designed to help people figure out what courses need to be taken to finish up their degree is now both less useful, and a big fat liar. It’s less useful because it is a dramatic departure from the prior interface, which worked just fine, thanks. In the name of modern web technology, they’ve made a dynamic Ajax-y crap pile.

The big fat liar part comes in here: The answers that the former advising tool gave are different than the new tool. WTF? Now what? THANKS, UMUC! I called on Wednesday, they said that they knew it was broken, and it’d be fixed in a week or two. I have an idea. Don’t release BROKEN CRAP SOFTWARE that tens of thousands of students rely on for information and advice. THANKS, UMUC! You can have my idea for free … just act on it.

That’s MY spot!

Lexi in my spot

Lexi in my spot

I worked until about 2330 last night, remotely to the office. When I came to bed, there was Lexi, in my spot. You might say that she was keeping it warm, but frankly, she was resentful about having to move. Nice picture for the circumstances, too: A 6-watt night-light provided enough ambient light for the sensor in the D5100. I’m rather impressed.

It’s A Dog’s Life, Part 42

I wandered into the bedroom to see if the dog was ready for her last walk of the day …

Lexi in repose

Lexi in repose

This was an unscripted pose, what amused me was that she didn’t bother moving while I strolled back to my office to grab the camera. Clearly the little dog does her best to own a California King.

 

 

Plague of Imagination

The problem of having a rich imagination is this: Anything that can go wrong, already has … in my mind. Imagine driving home from someplace unusual, as I did this afternoon. Imagine using the Nav system built into the car and pressing the “Go Home” button. Once I get out of the area I don’t know and I’m on a known path home, I want to make the car stop talking to me. So I press the DEST button on the dash, select “Del Dest” on the screen, and be prompted: “Delete Destination? [YES][NO]” I tap the yes button, then wonder … when I get home, is there going to be a smoking crater? Have I just deleted my house? Sigh.

So far today I’ve gotten the car serviced (up at 0615, at the dealership by 0720), gone to a funeral service (and driven home, wondering if I deleted the house), and roasted coffee. A busy day.

School is pretty well done for the year. It’ll be a week or two before I get the grade, but I make no predictions since 35% of the grade is the one final project. I may have tanked it completely (again, Del Dest!!!).

Here’s some Lexi for those that love dogs!

Watching Lexi-TV

Watching Lexi-TV

Long Week

It’s been a very long week. A lot of work and planning went into two big multi-system transitions at the office. One took most of the day on Friday with follow-up work Saturday morning and today. The second was a bigger job, and we had most hands on deck from 5PM to nearly midnight last night. So far, everything seems to have come off as well as can be expected. Everything that didn’t come off according to plan had contingency planning already completed – our checklists were really good. Yeah … meetings are good for that. Sigh, I really didn’t want to say that.

I also got the lawns mowed, and most of the leaves in the front are mulched down into the lawn. Many of the trees in the back yard are still holding their leaves. The oak in the back corner is just now turning color:

The backyard oak tree is coming into fall color.

The backyard oak tree is coming into fall color.

It also turns out that sometime Lexi doesn’t want her picture taken. Unlike our Lucy, who was a camera hog, Lexi seems to often make an effort to not be a good photo subject, and other times tries to beat a slinking retreat:

Lexi retreats from the camera

Lexi retreats from the camera

*     *     *

Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Staff Sgt. Houston M. Taylor, 25, of Hurst, Texas, died Oct. 13, in Kunar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.
  • Spc. Michael D. Elm, 25, of Phoenix, Arizona, died Oct. 14 in Khowst, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Staff Sgt. James R. Leep Jr., 44, of Richmond, Virginia, died Oct. 17 in Babil province, Iraq.
  • Staff Sgt. Jorge M. Oliveira, 33, of Newark, New Jersey, died Oct. 19 in Paktika province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Chief Petty Officer Raymond J. Border, 31, of West Lafayette, Ohio, died Oct. 19 while assessing a route in Paktika province, Afghanistan.
  • 1st. Lt. Ashley I. White, 24, of Alliance, Ohio, died Oct.22, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Sgt. 1st Class Kristoffer B. Domeij, 29, of San Diego, California, died Oct.22, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Pfc.Christopher A. Horns, 20, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, died Oct.22, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

Lexi Pictured Here

Lexi loves the camera

Lexi loves the camera

Lexi especially loves the new camera. I’ve been researching DSLRs for over a year. What I wanted and what is prudent are two very different things, too. I’ve held back from buying a D7000, since I’m not a “serious” photographer. But I want to take much better pictures than I can with any of our other cameras. So when a great deal came up at BJ’s, I plunked down for a Nikon D5100 kit with a couple of lenses and a bag. I’ve supplemented that with a spare battery, a 35mm prime lens, a filter, an SB400 flash, and a diffuser for that. More pictures as worthwhile ones appear.

*     *     *

I don’t think I mentioned this previously: I made the Dean’s List again this year. If I maintain this level of work, I’ll finish up with all A’s, and another year on the Dean’s List before I finish up next December. I just hope I manage it before the Mayan calendar runs dry!

 

In the style of Jepoardy

It is pumped from the ocean bottoms to the top of the spill mountains.

*    *    *

Zidane is dead. Today we (and by we I mean Greg) has finally had the plug pulled on the third (or second) iteration of a box that we (and by we, I mean both of us) hosted assorted sites for us and friends and associates. The take barely paid for the box, but overall it was both a worthy and worthwhile endeavor. I know I became a better system administrator through working on the system, and got a fair taste of the joys of running a Hell Desk.

This place is easy to admin: keep the updates in place and do backups. The email, courtesy of Google, is as spam-free as I’ve had in twenty years. I’ll never complain of that. Someone was asking about the advisability of trusting the Goog. I replied that they probably already had the email, they might as well store it, too. I still keep an IMAP server running here at home, and that has copies of everything I want to preserve.

*    *    *

No, I don’t know what brought the question to mind that prompts the Jeopardy answer. But I had to get it out of my head, and yours is a perfectly good place to store it until I need it again.

*    *    *

Yesterday was house-cleaning. Not the whole bloody thing, just the hardest part – the main floor. I’ll possibly do the second floor tomorrow. Today was shopping and school work. I got a draft version of my first database class project done and sent in for review by late afternoon. Tonight, thunder and lightning and a delicious turkey and zucchini dish delectably concocted by my lovely Marcia. Now the fireworks are starting up in the neighbourhood and surrounding areas. Lexi hates the thunder, but the fireworks appear only to anger her.

*    *    *

Oh, yeah. Last bit of news for now: First tomato! A cherry tomato was ripe enough to pluck from the vine, cleave in two, and share with SWMBO. We were both happy. First tomato is the harbinger of many tomatoes, which makes me very happy indeed. Ciao!

Wild and Crazy Guy

Some of you may remember the Festrunk brothers, from the gilded age of Saturday Night Live. This is not my life. I’ve just spend my Friday evening leading into a three day weekend on What-If analysis and Pivot Tables in Excel.

Lexi on guard

Lexi on guard

 

 

While I’m studying, Lexi spends a lot of time either watching the world or sleeping on the ottoman/storage bench I made for Lucy a few years back. But every once in a while I turn my head to find her sitting up and staring into a relatively blank corner of my office. I sure hope she doesn’t see dead dogs…

Sleepy time.

 

June weather visits for a bit

Potatoes and zucchini

Potatoes and zucchini

When I go out into the back garden after work, it’s a good time to let Lexi roam back there for a bit.  We’re concerned that she’ll discover and widen a rabbit gap, and make her great escape. So she doesn’t get unmonitored play time in the back yard. I suppose I should do something about that one of these days. Not today, but maybe in the fall. Meantime, the garden is becoming productive. Frankly, those potatoes look yummy. Red potatoes have always been more visually appealing, but fresh out of the ground is a world of difference compared to the dirty brown/reddish color of the store-bought ones. Count me as super-pleased on this experiment.

Today: the second day of June weather. Previously, we’d been “enjoying” late July weather, with overnight lows in the mid-80’s. For this week, we’re barely breaking into those temps for highs! And better yet, this is supposed to last for the week. If only we’d get a couple of good soaking rains.

Tonight: Relational Algebra and Relational Calculus: I sure know how to party, eh?