Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thanks, Fox, for the huge kick in the...

The Iowa State vs. Kent State game was supposed to be on channel 22 tonight. Instead, Ames viewers were greeted by an infographic saying that Fox had refused to let Mediacom show the game in Ames, because "Iowa is a Big 10 State."

Nice. Apparently, the rest of us don't count.

I missed the game anyway, due to my son wanting some time on the nintendo, and due to my Mad Men addiction. I only found out about this on the news just a few minutes ago.

After work, I had to go pick up my son from a birthday party. The house was mere blocks from the stadium, so I had a heck of a time even getting close to the house. Luckily, my son saw the car, and came out of the house. I saw at least one of my lab monitors carting a case of beer with a friend... I'll have to give him a bad time about that on Tuesday, when I get back to work.

You see, surprise of surprises, I am actually taking a day off of work tomorrow. I have been swamped for the last seven weeks, and I need a break. I plan to sleep, finish some faire related errands (I bought my son the wrong type of scrub pants, and then managed to lose the receipt!), and finish last second projects. I plan to be in bed by 10 pm, and sleeping by 10:15. I'm finally getting excited!

Anyway, just a couple of buttons left on my son's doublet, and then I need to cut out a little pouch to hold my rose coins, and a new pouch for my son (he lost the one I made him last year). I also finished the new bodice jewelry, and tacked it to the black bodice. Then, I have to modify the new scrub pants for my son. I still have quite a bit of work to do on the new sleeves, too. I keep finding more stuff that needs to be done before tomorrow night...

Anyway, a day off is exactly what I needed to save my sanity!!! :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Small things this week, really, but still good:

1. Green doublet: just needs buttons.
2. Hat for my son: done.
3. 2nd high-necked smock: about 30 minutes of work left, then DONE.
4. Black bodice trim: half finished.
5. Remembered the photo order form and check for school pictures, along with making sure my son had something decent to wear ahead of time.
6. Fixed that keyserver problem yesterday morning, before the labs opened. Turns out some people no longer in our laptop lease program still had the keyserver client installed, which eventually put us over our client limit, causing any new machines that tried to connect to get put on a prohibited list. Erg.
7. Found updated printer driver for our color printer, for the Intel Macs, to fix a bug when printing from Photoshop CS3 (files printed showed up as "Unknown" documents, 1KB in size). Wrote a script to automatically install the printers, for our students to use on their laptops.

And much, much more.

Okay, time to go back to work...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Yes, it is possible to underestimate just how long this week is going to be...

My list of things to do at work just keeps getting longer, and I feel like I am barely keeping my head above the water.

I just need a break tonight, and tomorrow should be better.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Long day, sandwiched between two long weeks...

Yesterday was our final rehearsal before the faire opens this coming Saturday! It was a gorgeous day, despite a few puddles. Very productive!

I finally finished my son's new doublet, except for the 15 buttons down the front. I also made him a new hat out of black velveteen, with one white ostrich plume, and one peacock feather (Hobby Lobby is not open Sundays, so his request for three peacock feathers had to be shot down). I recyled the amber jewel from his last hat, fixed the tack back to it, and put it all together. It looks really good. His last hat was way too small, and was cutting off the circulation to his brain (or so he says... LOL).

I have a long list of things that need to be done before Friday. I have already prioritized, and scheduled the days for each task. I am hoping to be able to be done with everything before Friday, so I can concentrate on sleeping, and enjoying the anticipation of opening day.

Today was a pretty long day. Besides sewing, laundry, cleaning, etc, I had to train new lab monitors at work. That took all afternoon. Just before I left for work, I got a call from Lynne, our head of the Royal Court (you know, the wearer-of-the-pointy-hat). She said that she had been contacted by a reporter from the Des Moines Register's Datebook, who wanted to also interview my son, as he is one of the youngest performers at the faire.

I didn't have time to call back the reporter right away, as I needed to get to work, so we called this evening, and arranged to talk with her at nine or so. She talked with my son, then with me (to clarify things that my son didn't know) for about 45 minutes. My son did a great job, despite being pretty nervous. He had made some notes of things he thought she might ask, in case he would forget something while he was talking to her. I just explained that he just needed to pretend this was a friend of teacher asking the questions, and he'd do fine.

The article will appear in the Datebook on Thursday. It will probably show up online the same day. I'll post a link when I find it (and probably buy quite a few copies of the paper!!!).

Well, I'm blinking over the keyboard right now, with still an hour before I can take more Sudafed. I have a nasty cold that I hope does not turn into a sinus infection. I am coughing quite a bit, and my voice is going. I am going to be drinking tea with honey quite a bit this week, as I need to be able to talk this weekend. Today was better than last night, so I have hope that I can shake this quickly. Ten hours of sleep last night helped quite a bit. It's too hard to sew when your sinuses are driving you crazy... :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Too busy.

Just finished cutting out my son's second doublet. I found a very nice green, uncut corduroy on sale at JoAnn Fabrics on Sunday. He really, really needs this second, more sturdy doublet. Hopefully, I'll be able to get it mostly sewn tomorrow, as I have other sewing that needs to be done. Less than two weeks until faire!!!!

Going crazy here... Need a vacation from everything...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Done. Or nearly.

I am waiting for the last of the intel macs to finish being imaged. I would have been here much, much longer, if not for some creative thinking.

I grabbed my master machine from the G5 lab, stuck it on a cart, and rolled it into the MacPro lab. I connected a machine to it using target firewire disk mode, and applied the image to it's boot drive with NetRestore. I also copied the disk image itself to the machine's data partition. I used my firewire drive to apply the image to another machine, and copied the disk image to that machine's data drive as well.

This gave me three computers to use to apply the image to other computers, using target firewire mode, as well as my single firewire drive. I turned off the verify target option, to speed things up as well (after seeing that applying via target fw mode is less than half as fast as the firewire drive).

Even though using target firewire drive mode was much slower, it is still faster than using only a single firewire drive on 14 machines. I would have been done even faster, but it took awhile to get things set up. A 36 GB disk image takes time to copy, and even more time if you are using NetRestore at the same time. The first two machines took over an hour to build, with one taking an hour and 40 minutes.

In any case, if a couple of minutes the last machine will be done, and I can go to dinner with my son, then shopping for clothes, as I have nothing nice to wear anymore, and groceries, since we have nothing fast and healthy to cook left in the house.

In 14 hours, I'll be back at work, ready for the new semester. I intend to sleep at least ten of those hours... ;)

Beginning of the longest day.

I have no idea how I am going to finish everything I need to do today.

There is one main rule I stick with at work, and almost never push aside. If there is a problem that rises up in a radmind loadset, FIND OUT WHAT CAUSED IT, and FIGURE OUT HOW TO AVOID THE PROBLEM, or HOW TO FIX IT.

Friday morning, I disregarded that self-imposed rule, for the sake of expediency in getting the new intel Macs ready for the school year.

You see, Adobe After Effects CS3 was not playing well. It would not hold the serial number once the loadset was applied to the machines, not on the MacPros, nor on the older G5s. Not in the admin account or in the user account. One of my attempts at fixing it actually cause the MacPro to lose the ability to be logged in. When attempting to reset the password (thinking it maybe had been wiped out during testing), I got an error that no users were available on that volume.

Oh crap.

Time was wasting, though, so I ended up just reloading the machine using netrestore, and reverted back to an earlier version of after effects, that I already had working earlier this summer. It was only one machine, after all.

I applied the fix, and it worked perfectly on both types of machine.


I had one more software package to install - Maya 8.5. I sat at my master machine, a G5, and created the loadset. I applied it to all of the G5s, six at a time, as it was a large package, and I didn't want to overload the server and slow things down to a crawl. I then moved to the MacPros, and began applying it there.

Here is where I made the mistake of forgetting that I was dealing with two different types of machines.

Friday at 5:40 pm, after thinking everything was perfect, I went to the MacPros to start the apply on the last six machines, with the aim to going home, and just finishing up on Monday (they would have needed just a reboot to be ready for users).

I sat down at one of the finished machines, to test the overload. I was pretty confident it had worked correctly.

I couldn't login.

I couldn't login on any account at all.

The damn bug had been replicated, in the worst possible way.

I quickly stopped the last six from running, and ran to the server to remove that loadset from that command file. I ran radmind again on those six, and managed to salvage them.

But the other 14 will have to be reloaded today. They take 26 minutes to reload. Normally, I have two firewire drives, but I loaned one to my boss. I have one drive, and 14 machines. This was to be my last day off for the next month, between work and the faire.

This is the price to pay when not tracking down why something failed, because you think you don't have enough time. If I had spent even an hour figuring out what files were causing the problem in the first failed machine, or if I had tested one machine after applying that loadset (which I normally do, but I honestly thought there would be no problems with the maya loadset), I wouldn't have go to work today, on the worst possible day, to reload more than half a lab.

I am writing this out, in the hopes that it will remind me to never, ever make that mistake again.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Too much going on, too little time. Sewing tip #31: When you nearly sew your finger to the cuff of a shirt, it's time to quit for the night....

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Did you ever have a week where you feel you can't do anything right?

Work is a series of baby steps, missteps, and back-tracking. Well, mistakes can be learning opportunities, but it's frustrating when you want to do something new, and do it well, and then stumble over things that you saw but didn't recognize as being wrong, since you are used to dealing with a different operating system. And yes, I made sure to take as many notes as possible, so I can do it right the next time. And yes, I had unrealistic expectations that I would do this very well the very first time.

It doesn't help that I am not at work this morning. I have a billion things to do at work, and was already worried about not getting done in time for classes on Monday. However, I am waiting for my mom to pick me up for yet another damn doctor's appointment.

You see, earlier this summer, when I had the TIA, I went through a bunch of tests. All of these tests came back finding nothing wrong with my heart, brain, neck, etc.

I had a routine physical at the beginning of this month. The blood tests came back with one slight elevation in one of the liver tests. I had my blood retested last week. Monday evening, when I got home from a particularly busy day at work, there was a phone message from my doctor's office, to call them back.

When I called back, the nurse told me that the same liver test had elevated levels again. So, in a few minutes, I leave to go get an ultrasound of my liver.

Oh, so much fun.

Everyone so far has told me to not worry about it. I'm just sick of dealing with medical crap, and I have way too much to do to get ready for the new semester. I hope whatever it is can be taken care of by medication or diet, rather than surgery. If it is surgery, I hope it can be scheduled AFTER THE FAIRE (which would also be after the main rush at work has died down). It's not an option to be gone from work for any length of time right now. I feel like I would be letting everyone down. I already feel massive guilt for being gone this morning, but what with not being able to drink or eat anything at all this morning, I just couldn't face going in for a couple of hours before this appointment.

Anyway, I feel like crap right now, because I am hungry, thirsty, and stressed. I just hope I feel better after this ultrasound thing.

I feel like an idiot and a hypochondriac...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Yay, Mediacom!

Sweet working Internet.

Not much more to say tonight. Too busy. But the internet is now working in the apartment.


Friday, August 10, 2007


Those of you who are not geeks: I know you won't understand the rest of this post, but just trust me that this is incredibly good.

For those of you who ARE geeks, please join me in a moment of screaming laughter and cheering, as SCO finally LOSES!!!!!!!!!!

Court Rules: Novell owns the UNIX and UnixWare copyrights! Novell has right to waive!

Friday, August 10 2007 @ 04:52 PM EDT

Hot off the presses: Judge Dale Kimball has issued a 102-page ruling [PDF] on the numerous summary judgment motions in SCO v. Novell. Here is what matters most:
[T]he court concludes that Novell is the owner of the UNIX and UnixWare Copyrights.
That's Aaaaall, Folks! The court also ruled that "SCO is obligated to recognize Novell's waiver of SCO's claims against IBM and Sequent". That's the ball game. There are a couple of loose ends, but the big picture is, SCO lost. Oh, and it owes Novell a lot of money from the Microsoft and Sun licenses.

Good-bye, SCO!

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Too much going on. I was going to post more, but I am nodding off over my keyboard.

Summary of today: too much to do. not enough done at home. My mouth is deformed, thanks to two cold sores on my upper lip, right side. Abreva did nothing, even though I put it on less than an hour after I felt the tingle (it was at home, I was at work). I am miserable.

I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Sunday, I got a wicked paper cut on the ring finger on my right hand.

So far tonight I have caught my fingernail of my pinky finger on the cut while ironing. And just a bit ago, while removing pins from fabric, I managed to jab a pin into the cut.


Monday, August 06, 2007

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Not quite so productive today...

My goals for today were pretty lofty, but also, I thought, reachable. Except that I overestimated the amount of time I had to work on sewing today.

Here were my goals:

1. Menu planning for the week - NO FAST FOOD. NO CONVENIENCE FOOD.
2. Grocery Shopping
3. Laundry
4. Forepart #1
5. Spiral paned sleeves to match forepart #1 (18 total pieces, nine pieces per sleeve).
6. Cut out my high-necked smock.
7. Make Sunday Dinner
8. Go to committee meeting.

I managed to get the menu planning and grocery shopping done by 11 this morning. I got a late start, because there was some lightning and possible bad weather in the area last night, around midnight. While waiting for the weather channel to show the local forecast, I fell asleep on the couch. I woke up around 2 am, and went back to bed. I woke up around 8:30, but was lazy until around 9:00. Sunday mornings are lazy times in my house. :)

I can never get my son to tell me what he wants to eat for meals. Seriously. For a kid who likes to eat, he just does not have an opinion until it's either being cooked or already on the table. I have to suggest everything. Maybe that's why I have been avoiding menu planning this summer. I think I'm burned out about food.

I also managed to sew the forepart (waiting for hemming), and the spiral sleeve panes. I am working on hand sewing strands of tiny pearls around the edges of the sleeve panes. It's going to take a long time...

Sunday dinner was french bread pizza. Yeah, very homemade. But, by the time 5:00 rolled around, we were both starving, and not in the mood to wait until 6 to eat.

I also made it to committee meeting.

So, I guess I actually did fairly well. I even made blueberry muffins for breakfast tomorrow!

Now, it's bedtime. Too much to do at work tomorrow to be foggy-brained...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

At the end of a long day

Lots of work done today. I am nearly finished with my son's new shirt, and I have the spiral sleeve panes and forepart (and forepart lining) cut out. I was going to try to finish cutting out the sleeve pane linings, but I decided that, after being at this pretty much since I woke up this morning, I deserve a break.

Now, if only I can keep up this pace tomorrow, I can feel better about my chances of being done by August 31...

Never assume anything.

On the 25th, I bought 15 yards of white muslin at 40% off, to make at least one more shirt for my son, and another smock for myself. I bought extra, because I had a coupon, and I can always use white muslin (regular price is only $.99).

Well, apparently, the fact that I bought this muslin before eating lunch, when I was light-headed from hunger, led me to not check the width of the fabric carefully. I am used to muslin being at least 36 inches wide, which is just the right amount of fullness for my son's shirt.

I spent an hour ironing and straightening another length of white muslin that I had forgotten I had, which was purchased at the same time I made my last smock. Waste ot, want not, right? Well, I got out the shirt pattern pieces, and discovered that the shirt body piece is too large for the fabric!!!!!!

That fabric was 34 inches wide! I ran to my room to find the new 15 yards of muslin I bought most recently, and it too was only 34 inches wide. I bought the wrong width for the shirt!!!!


I am still going to use it all. My son's shirt just won't be as full. I am hoping that the shoulders will still be wide enough, and that he can wear this shirt for quite awhile. The fabric will be plenty wide enough for my smock, TG, or I would be screaming in frustration right now. I am not going to go buy more muslin as it would be wasteful.

Okay, back to work now that that is out of my system.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Still Annoyed

Second cable modem is not responding. This means there is most likely a problem with the wiring, and a service call will have to be entered. Not sure what they will have to do in order to get the internet working.

Just not having any luck with that.

Costume progress update:

Got lots of stuff done yesterday evening, due to no internet access. I have just a couple more things to do to the bodice and overskirt, and then they will be done. I have to fix one small portion of the cartridge pleating on the right side of the skirt, then I have to sew the hook and eye to the waistband, and then lose about 5 pounds to make it more comfortable. I also have a bunch of sewing to do on the facing and hem. The trim is sewn to the bottom already (took only about an hour last night). The bodice is done, except for a bit more trim, and pearl embellishments. The big slow-down now is that everything has to be finished by hand.

After this little internet fix (old connection still working for some reason), I am going to get things ready for tomorrow. I have to finish cutting out the spiral sleeves, and the lining for the sleeves and forepart. I also have fabric for a new underskirt, with a gathered waistband, to reduce the bulk at my waist (the green tafetta underskirt has cartridge pleats, very bulky). I found a pretty silver/black irridescent tafetta on sale at Hobby Lobby for $2/yard. I bought all of it that was left on the bolt (9 yards). It normally sells for $4.99/yard. It is nice and stiff, and will make a good underskirt. It's just one more thing on my list of things to do.

The goal for this weekend is to get everything cut out, and get as much sewing done as possible. This is my last free weekend before the faire. I have to make the most of it.

Again, no pictures yet, because my dress form still needs repair. The black gown looks gorgeous, and I am excited to get to the embellishing. Then, on to the next project... :)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Good Thing that Deserves its Own Post!


Guess what...

I'm getting another niece or nephew in March!!!! So, one in June, one in November, and another in March! Three sisters having little ones within a year!


The Good and the Bad


1. Supposed to be switching our apartment building ISP today.
2. Had to move computer to living room in order to be able to use new service.
3. So far, no connectivity via the new service.
4. My dressform shrunk under the load of my new overskirt! When I got home from work, it was several inches shorter than it was when I left this morning. Therefore, no pictures tonight. The sticker with the inch markings on the support column decided to fail, and slipped. Urg.
5. Got no work done on costumes tonight due to having to move the living room around.


1. Got to play with my nephews and see two of my sisters tonight!
2. Old internet service still works (just tried it on a whim).
3. ...

Hey, but I got to hold my youngest nephew for a nice long time, and see my other nephew and sisters. :)