Showing posts with label never really done. Show all posts
Showing posts with label never really done. Show all posts

Monday, June 2, 2014

Spam, spam, spam

No, not the Monty Python show tune, nor the gelled pig fat in a can.
Actual spam.
As I've mentioned before I am not a trained IT professional, but I play one in real life.

The bullet point version:
*  Early on a Tuesday morning I sent an email to be greeted momentarily with a Non-delivery report.
*  A quick check of email blacklists shows on two blacklists for SPAM.
*  A glance at the outgoing email queue shows thousands of emails rejected by the recipents waiting for resend.
*  SHIT!
*  suspend the outgoing queue items containing 1035 down to 10 email messages.*
*  frantically search the email server to figure out what the eff is going on while researching online.
*  Event viewer shows a successful logon by the  firm founder...hmmmm....who passed away over a year ago.
*  Disable founder's account and every other non-essential account...oops not that one.
*  Spammer is locked out but spam continues to inflow.
*  In the Exchange 2007 receive connectors I find an encrypted IP address.
*  Delete Encrypted IP address and spam stops like a switch is thrown.

Sounds like this took all of thirty minutes no?  Try 4..long... days.
It took another week or so to get de-listed form the email black lists.

The spammer has a bot sitting out there, or in here somewhere, that continues to randomly try log on IDs and Passwords.
My favorite ID attempt was  "BATMAN"

Meanwhile, my other full time projects (3) grind on.

* My best guess is that tens of thousands of spam email messages were relayed out before we got black listed.  If you received an email from promising to make your penis immensely large by only taking this one weird supplement, I humbly apologize.

Monday, December 30, 2013


Took off between Christmas and New Years. A long needed break from a very hectic year. I've been hanging around the house just decompressing.
Two weeks back the water cut off valve for the powder room toilet decided to start dripping. So the valve was closed and the powder room out of commission until I had time to get to it.
No big deal thinks me, I'll take care of this while on my staycation. I'll just go down to the big box hardware store and get a replacement valve.
What a pain in ass this turned out to be.
While attempting to fix the original leak, I managed to make things worse. To cut to the chase, as of the last thirty minutes or so, it appears we have a successful repair. 100% silicone sealant is your friend.

Then came the "twenty minute" light fixture replacement.  Okay. It was more like an hour, but this one came off without a hitch.
 Last time I replaced a fixture, it turned into two days. That'll happen when you drill through a water pipe.
It was that same damn powder room now that I think about it.  Cursed it is.
Anything else goes wrong in there, I'm just going to nail the door shut.

*The framers did an awesome job on this house. The "plumbers", not so much.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Good Grief! another week blurred by

Everything seems to be frantic these days.
My clients make decisions at a glacial pace and DEMAND action yesterday.
Everyone is so covered up, trying to schedule meetings is far worse than trying to herd cats.
But! We've Got to Have a Meeting!!!!!
Half my client team are the cats.
Got the fuel pump replaced in son's jeep a week ago. He called this evening from a downtown parking garage to report said jeep would not start.
I drove into town after work through blinding rain and flooding streets to lay hands on the jeep, hoping all the way I could get it started.
It was parked in the basement level.  Pushing that effer up to the street level, was not the way I wanted to end my day.  I willed it back to life.  There is something wiggy with the relays going on in that car.
When it's running, it runs like a bat outa hell.
The jeep is not afraid of Sonnage. It is terrified of me because it knows I brought it into this family and I can sure as hell take it out.
Saturday I bought two more new tires for Duh's Cobalt and replaced all for four beat to shit wheels.
 Sunday I bought new wiper blades for my Scion roller skate. My new wiper blade on the driver's side was worse than the old blade.  My scheduled overdue oil change for rollerskate got rained out.*

I'm taking off Wednesday.  Wednesday I get to drive down to Old Hickory Lake to get finger printed because some douche nozzle suddenly decided the practice of architecture was so over run with felons that finger prints and a criminal background check were needed to renew my registration for the thirtieth time. And no, I can't use my CHL finger prints and back ground check. That would be so... un-bureaucratic.
Yeah, there's places closer, but they're all booked up through the end of the month when my license expires.
Plan ahead? You've got to be kidding. I pretty sure I saw myself leaving the office when I arrived this morning.

* I will be on my death bed before I allow some dipshit at Fred's croissant, fill dirt and lube to change the oil in my vehicles.


Friday, November 1, 2013

On Vacation!

I'm not on the water right now, but that is my pic from a while back.
Sort of.  I've only responded to 15 emails or so in the last 36 hours.  :-)

Friday, October 25, 2013

I'm not dead yet!

But I feel like I'm getting close.
Been a while since I posted.  I've been working my ass off supporting the other half of the population on the gubmint dole that refuses to work. Damn vunables.

Come mid next week, I'm finally going to take some vacation days and not work a weekend.
It's been a long, long year so far.

I don't actually smoke. This was staged. I prefer "smokeless" tobacco.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Light at the end of the Tunnel

October twenty-three.
Then I do believe I'm going to burn some of my vacation time.
I apologize in advance, but what a fucking grind this year has been.

I do believe I feel a good one coming on.

Monday, September 9, 2013


So the problem with AC wasn't the breaker after all.
I did learn how to replace a breaker without frying myself like Wyle E. Coyote for 6 bucks and change, but it turned out to be strictly academic.
The reason the old breaker would not stay closed is because it was doing it's job.  The compressor on the other hand, was not.  Sometime last Friday afternoon, it overheated and fused all the electrical connections into one molten mass.
The good news was the condenser unit was only three years old and the compressor was still under warranty.  (Yay!)
The bad news was the labor to replace the compressor was not. (Boo!)
Overtime service charge for the tech to tell me, on Saturday, my compressor is hosed and a replacement cannot be had till Monday:  $144
Frigidaire window unit purchased at the local big box hardware store to reduce the melt of "still summer": $299.*
Labor charge to replace the compressor:  $800
Working Central A/C: priceless.

My debit card is weeping quietly in the corner right now.

* Might come in handy after the next hurricane.  The BAR Corp. HQ. emergency generator will run that little gem jest fine.

Friday, September 6, 2013


Of home ownership.
The dual 60 amp breaker feeding the outside unit on the air conditioning system gave up the ghost sometime this afternoon.*  Thank the gods it isn't the AC unit. I coughed up $6k to get that replaced 18 months ago.
If I can find a matching replacement in the morning, this should be a fairly easy fix.
The big IF is the only thing that concerns me.

 I bet I go to Lowe's and Home Depot and find hundreds upon hundreds of replacement breakers, none of which are, or ever have been installed in any house in the lower 48.  They will be dust covered and have manufacture dates of 1984 on them because no one has every bought one.**  They will also be randomly sorted into incorrect boxes by small children having picked them up and asked, "Daddy, what's this?"
"Put  That BACK!"
"K,  jeeze"

It's going to be a warmish night tonight.

*How do I know it's the breaker you ask? While trouble shooting I found the breaker in the off position. When I went to close it, it sort of made a half-hearted attempt to snap into the "on" position, threw up its little breaker hands, looked at me and said, "meh".

** A pessimist is just an optimist with all the facts.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cleaning the Mosin

De-Cosmolining actually.
Today was 9 hours of working on the Austin project interspersed by periodically going out to the garage to jiggle the pan of Mosin parts soaking in mineral spirits.  That, and re-position the lawn sprinkler.*

Man, that rifle is simplicity defined.

Time to extract the parts from soaking and start brushing, wiping down, and oiling.

Prepare for the Doctor's secret handshake.

Still more cleaning to do on the barrel and stock, which will give me something mindless to do in the evenings over the next few days.  And, I have a whole 'nuther Mosin to strip down and clean.  :-)

Wish I had a ginormous ultrasonic cleaner. I saw on youtube where some guys have bungied an electric sander to the side of a rubbermade tub to agitate the cleaning solution for auto parts. Years ago I had the  idea to attach an audio speaker to a metal tub for the same purpose.  Never tried it though. Certainly not ultrasonic, but some agitation is better than none.

* We had a 68% chance of rain today. I was certain if I started to water the grass, it would rain.
Nary a drop.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Jaw Saw

Worx Jaw Saw.
I bought one. Yeah, I know, it's an infomercial tool, but it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!
Bought it on Amazon.
It actually works pretty well. I turned a big pile of branches I pruned off the trees 4 months a while ago and left in a pile in the back yard, into itty bitty sticks.  Living in suburbia, I can't burn 'em or just pile them up on the curb for pickup.
The pile of branches is now neatly tucked away in my municipal utility district approved trash can.
You aren't going to cut down any trees with it, but it's not intended for that anyway.  Well, maybe a wayward china berry sapling.
It is reasonably well constructed, although the advertised self adjusting chain tensioning system doesn't actually self adjust without some assistance.*
Pruning is like eating Lays potato chips.  You can't just eat one.
Before you know it you've got a massive pile of branches. The pruning is the fun part.
The branch cleanup sucks.  Less so now.
Aside from the chain adjustment, the only other downside I found to the tool was the lack of an air conditioner to keep me from perspiring...heavily.

 *don't tell me I'm doin it wrong. I read the instructions and everthin

Friday, July 12, 2013

Oh, By the way

Says Belle at the tail end of a conversation this afternoon.
"My brakes are making a grinding noise".
"Front or back", I asked.
So it looks like I'm doing a brake job tomorrow, or Sunday. Whichever day I can muster the inspiration.
I think I'll snap some pics and turn it into a post, seeing as Borepatch was asking about this a short while ago.
 Lord knows I haven't had the energy to write lately.  Work, work, work..more work. No weekends off.
Deadline today. Major Deadline last Friday. Another deadline next Friday.
One nostril came above the waterline this afternoon and I took off a little early.
The forecast for tomorrow is sweaty, dirty and greasy.

Friday, June 14, 2013

watching the sprinkler

You know it's been a long and yet unproductive week when you find watching the sprinkler in the front yard meditative and comforting.


Monday, June 10, 2013

What did you want to be when you grew up?

As a little kid, I wanted to be a hermit or a mountain man like Jeremiah Johnson. When I was a teenager, I wanted to be an auto mechanic. My mother was having none of that, so you can guess how that went.
I used to be an Architect. Technically I am still.  What I am, and what I actually do are two completely separate things.  Now I go to meetings about architecture, write agendas and meeting minutes, write and respond to email, oy gevault the email, ride in planes and taxi cabs, have the life force sucked out of me in conference rooms and hotel rooms, and spend my life waiting in airports. Glamorous, no?

I hate my commute on the few days I'm actually home, yet find myself wanting to move further out* to some acreage with a double wide surrounded by a massive wood deck and trellis over head.
Some place I can take my 9mm out back and pop off a few rounds, or even throw a few clay pigeons.

My inner hermit calls to me. As busy as I've been my whole working life, I always considered it a myth, but I think my midlife crisis might have finally arrived.

*I think I may need a much, much faster car, considering the longer commute..and while I'm at it, a really big earth fucking truck too, considering I'll be "farther out".
No, wait, a Star Trek transporter mounted in the front of my earth fucking truck so I can transport the dipshits in front of me behind me in rush hour traffic.  I apologize in advance for melding your Prius with the Chevy Volt that was between us moments ago. I'm still trying to get the hang of this transporter thingy.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Traffic tickets

I've had a grand total of two in the 37 years I've been driving. I can assure you it's not because I always abide by the speed limit.
Proud Hillbilly's post about her long commute and lost keys got me to thinking about my bi-weekly drives to Austin and my own daily commute.

I get this funny, "something's not right feeling" sometimes when I'm booking it down the highway.
I've learned to listen to that quiet voice that tells me to back off the throttle just a bit.  70 might be better than 80.

It happened on the way home from work tonight. Left late, after the rush hour traffic was done and done, but there was a wreck on 290  that was messing things up so I elected to take the tollways to get past most of it.

On the inclined entrance ramp to the Westpark tollway not a car in sight in front of me. One thing my little Scion tC will do is climb hills.  A little tweak on the gas pedal drops it into 5th gear and it actually accelerates, going up hill.  It pisses off pickup truck drivers tailgating me. They do catch up eventually though.*
The speed limit in the first few miles of the tollway where I get on is 55. I was at 70 and climbing before I got to the top of the hill.  As I was coming to the merge where it becomes two lanes and the speed limit bumps up to 65.
 I got that funny feeling and my foot reflexively backed off the throttle.
I was decelerating from about 72 to 70 as I blew past an unmarked, and I mean "unmarked" PoPo SUV sitting on the right shoulder.
White.  No Markings.  No antennae. Very dark tinted windows.
I did make out a light bar in the back window as I got closer. The dead give away was the driver's window down and the radar gun. Of course by the time I saw that, the brain is saying, " well, I'm screwed."
So I just held it steady at 70 and kept going, watching my rear view mirror to see if the PoPo lit it up.
He didn't, so after I got over the next overpass I drove like one of my great aunts the rest of the way home.**

*  If I happen to run up behind someone with out of state plates. I've written about this before people! If you are going to bunch up and drive slow, do it in one freaking lane!

** Actually, the cops down here tend to work speed traps in pairs. Not seeing another after a few miles I ramped the RPM back up.  Hey. I haz to get home and gots to grocery shop on the way.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

No NRA for YOU!

Well, more
Belle and I thought we'd at least hit the exhibitions on Saturday. I mean, really, it was in our backyard for crikey's sake.
Instead, I worked. And worked, and worked Saturday. Sunday was better. I only worked.
I'm still not caught up from this past week.
This is getting old.
Now I'm off to read my favorite bloggers to get a vicarious thrill from their NRA convention posts.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Flapper 3.0 and other errata

As a public service announcement
I offer that you should never buy a flapper valve for the toilet that has more than two parts to it. The flapper and the chain.  Flapper 1.0 was all high techy and stuff having multiple plastic parts which served the purpose of who knows what. Flapper 1.0 worked for a while and then feeling overly gaudy for a mere flapper valve jettisoned all its extraneous plastic bits into the drain tube in the bottom of the tank.
Flapper 2.0 did not fit. Even with some famous Kx59 mods it did now work. Fail.
Flapper 3.0 was purchased at Lowe's, L'Homme Deepot having failed me twice before. L'Homme Deepot's purchasing department's protocol for flappers appears to be, " We have a wide selection of 5 flapper valves! None of which will work on your Toilet! Thanks for shopping at L'Homme Deepot!". Flapper 3.0 seems to be working. It has two working parts.

We switched cable providers yesterday.  Cable tech informed me that the house was not grounded. Ah, ok.  The 9 gage wire must have popped loose from the ground rod again. (well ok, I admit it probably had help, had to be me with the mower)

The lug clamping the wire to the rod was iffy at best.  I've had to re-attach it before. So I got a new grounding lug while at the hardware store.  I'm thinking this is going to be a 5 minute job*.
So I've got a screw driver, the lug and a plastic bag to kneel on, being as it rained frogs yesterday.
Digging in the dirt with my fingers looking for the ground rod. Digging some more. Then, digging some more.  Srsly?  What dickweed steals a rusty rebar ground rod?  Ugh. Like all home repair jobs, this one was going to require a minimum of two trips to the hardware store apparently.
Being that the copper ground rods sold at the hardware store are 8' long and my car is roughly 7.5' long inside, maybe, I opted for a 4' piece of #4 rebar.  8 feet long?  All I need it to do is get to moist ground, not poke someone planting rice on the other side of the planet in the ass.
Fortunately, it rained frogs yesterday, so driving it into the ground was a piece of cake with Rudy Sr.**, the 5 lb. hand sledge.
Not bad. Only two trips to the hardware store to git'er done.  But, the new house we moved in to 15 years ago is not so new anymore.

* The last time I put a short time estimate on a home repair / improvement it turned into a two day affair.  That happens when you drill a hole through a water pipe.
** Yes, some of my tools actually have names.

Monday, April 15, 2013

I'm going to make someone's life miserable

Here I sit after 2 1/2 hours of commuting and 10 hours at the office, on my couch attempting to write a meeting report and an agenda for another meeting on Thursday, still attempting to work.
My office laptop gets loaned out from time to time.
If I find the emeffer that upgraded my Microsoft Word from '03 to '07 there is going to be hell to pay.

I can just see the development meeting for MS Word 2007.
"Well, we really can't think of any new content to add to the program, or any real improvements for that matter."
"Yeah, there's a few bug fixes we could do, but basically we got nothing."

"I know! Let's repackage the user interface with that new Ribbon thing that's going around!."
"We'll hide all the really important stuff that used to be so easy to find and sell it as an upgrade!"
"The users will think they have something new and shiny because they are having to learn a "new" program!"
[high fives all around]
[fade to black]

I may just have to type the sumbitch in notepad and take care of the formatting in word '03 on my wheezing old desktop* at the office.

I am not a happy camper.

* I am not a noob at this computer thing. I have three at my desk that I use every day. One for clerical, one for cad and email and one for 3D design. I run all three every day. I guess I've never mentioned my disability have I? I have four arms.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Beer thirty is finally here

I've always said too much work is a much better problem to have than not enough, but man I am getting too old for this shit.
Brought the laptop home with a bunch of stuff to work on over the weekend. I'd planned to do some Saturday and perhaps some Sunday.
I had this pipe dream of somehow working in a short trip to the pistol range in there somewhere*. I didn't make it last weekend and I'm feeling all sullied and unusual.
Saturday I woke up brain dead and completely unmotivated.  I finally quit beating myself up mid afternoon and admitted I didn't have it in me to get anything done.  Parked my portly ass on the couch.
Sunday morning I awoke to my work "to do" list and my brain whispered, "Dude, you are so screwed :-)"  I hope, some day, my brain grows up. I'm getting a little old to be called "Dude".

So after 8 hours of drawing and crunching numbers**, lots and lots of numbers, it's finally happy hour.
Belle just asked "how you doin'? "

"Getting better by the bottle"
If only there was some weekend left.......

*Didn't happen.  God laughs while men plan. The squirrel that took up residence in the oak tree out front is getting a little annoying as well. You just keep it up barky, I'll rake up the 50 lbs. of acorns in the front yard one of these days.
**Excel is my friend.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hey Kids! it's that time of year again!

Time for the semi-annual employee review!
In keeping with BAR corporate policy, nothing factual, also known as "negative" will be brought up in your review.  The fact that you are a living, breathing, semi-sentient being that shows up for work on time mostly on time when you want to, is a real plus in our eyes. [thumbs up]
 Also the fact that you are willing to work really long hours to get that sweet, sweet time and a half overtime pay to put random lines and words on paper with no thought whatsoever makes you really stand out among your peers.
Well Done! Keep up the Good Work!

In reality, I do have to do employee reviews before the turn of the month. I loath doing these.
When I'm king of the company, things will be different.
A piece of my soul erodes each time I have to scrape the inside corners of my mind with a fish fork to find something...anything positive to say.

I have a much, much different metric by which I deem an employee "good".
My partners assign a  "good" or "great" label to the aspiring licensees if they are willing to work ridiculous hours to churn meaningless drivel on to electronic "paper".

I deem them good if they've run up against a problem, researched the building code and the Americans with Disabilities Act [ making the world flat for you!], present an actual construct-able solution and have an answer for 90% of my challenges to their solution.  The last 10% they get as homework.
No margin for error. *

* Were you to do the risk versus reward assessment on my profession, the first question that would come up is, "why would anyone in their right mind do this?".


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Destructive Testing

In my profession, we work as surprisingly small teams on projects that last years.  We are not a large firm, yet there are people in our company that I have never worked with. When I do pick up one of the "never worked withs" or a new hire on a project, right off the bat I tend to grill them on their decision making process. In my experience, with 99% of people, a grilling doesn't require much. "Why did you do it that way?"  "What about this?"  "What building code constraints apply to what you are working on?"  Typically, it doesn't take much to determine they are sleep walking through their job.

I've been doing this for a long time never consciously thinking about it, but recognized it as a pattern a few years back when I made a young female Architect cry.  What was it that I left in my note that made her cry you ask? "This is unacceptable", in reference to two drawings she had produced.
She was out in the corridor boohooing to one of her female peers. One of the firm principles came and asked me what I had done. I 'splained the situation and further noted that if she thought that was "rough", how would she handle a belligerent and pissed off client in a meeting.
That communicated to him. He repeated the same thing to her. 
To summarize it in two words, "grow up".
She stayed with us for 5 or 6 years then moved on to Californication, then Pennsylvania and finally wound up in New York.  I learned all this day before yesterday. She was back in town and came by for a visit.  She made a point of visiting me. Imagine that.
I digress.
The pattern I've noticed in myself is that I destructive test my newbies in very short order. I want to know what their threshold for stress is, and whether or not anyone is at home in the brainpan. I have a subconscious drive to determine who is a go to person and who is a pencil in very short order. My "go to's" can take a problem and solve it. If I have to constantly direct your every move, you are a pencil.
I am not mean in the process*, but direct and unwavering in my expectation of their performance.
Also, I'm not going to dumb this down to your level.  You are going to have to rise to my level of play. I will help you, but the onus is on you.
I have resurrected a few lost causes, and turned a few pencils into go to guys, or girls over the years.

*Ok, I admit, now that I'm consciously aware of my destructive testing protocol, I do take a certain amount of joy in watching them squirm. I have two that have been with us for 5 to 10 years now that have coasted along all that time. I've already upset the 10 year "veteran".  The 5 year newbie is rapidly discovering all the shit he doesn't know. He's starting to come around and ask a lot more questions. He's discovered that he's not as smart as everyone else thought he was.