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Diary of a Singl-ish Dad – Day 3

What a difference a day makes?

Sadly, the news from up in Vegas wasn’t good today. Lang’s struggling through a bad day. Keep praying.

The kids and I stayed in pajamas until nap time. And even that was late. I finally got them settled down to rest at about 3:30. On the bright side, I did actually pull off something productive and got my shelf installed when I should have been making the kids’ lunch. 🙂 Now I just have to decide what to put on the shelf.

I’m hoping to switch gears post-nap and have a really pleasant – and non-slackery – night. I think oven-baked pizza and Charlotte’s Web is on the menu.

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Diary of a Singl-ish Dad – Day 1 & 2

My beautiful wife left town yesterday with her good friend. They headed up to Las Vegas late in the afternoon to lend support to my friend Lang’s fiancée as she waits on his healing. Sounds like Lang’s taken a turn for the worse and that’s weighing on us all… Keep praying.

Yesterday was an interesting day. It marked the end of a nine year career in IT for ADE/KLA Tencor. It was the first time I’d lost a job. I’m guessing it won’t be the last. Offshoring could easily hit me again. It was sad to walk out of our building with my friend and former boss knowing that we’d never leave that parking lot again. And sad to think that there are some co-workers that I’ll likely not see again. I hope we all find work soon.

The comforting thing is that I know I’ll see the friends I made again over the years. My former boss happens to be one of my closest friends; it’ll be hard not to see him. Some folks I’ll be able to stay in touch with over IM or Facebook. Hooray for the webitron.

In a way, I was kinda spared yesterday from thinking too much about my predicament. With Martha furiously packing and trying to get ready for a sudden five-day trip, I didn’t have time to wallow or really even reflect. I did my best to help her out the door and then turned my attention to wrangling these two kids that keep hanging around here.

Speaking of kids… I think my daughter’s rash is either slowing down or starting to fade a bit. We discovered it Sunday morning while getting ready for church. She’s had a rash similar to it before and it turned into some crazy hot tub virus or something and she had to be treated w/ some scary antibiotics that kept doctor, pharmacist, and parents concerned for a while. Thankfully, she got seen rather quickly this time and has already got 3 doses of non-scary antibiotics in her. I’ll be praying that the spots are gone before Thursday.

This morning, Abby and I did some shopping while Joey was in preschool. It was strange to go shopping the day after I lost my job, but the vast majority of our merchandise was bought with gift cards of some sort. I picked up a new Dewalt drill that was going for a crazy sale price. I loved my previous drill, but the Makita battery packs are hard to find and expensive. The Home Depot trip was really only a time-killer until we could get into Costco. Abby was really well behaved and pulled off many smiles from strangers. If only that would work as currency… that’d come in handy.

With grocery shopping out of the way, we went to pick up Joey. We stopped to make a quick sea turtle in the wet sand outside his classroom. It’s amazing how quickly wet sand will claim a previously clean 2 year-old’s outfit.

I then raced through three chaotic projects at once… prepping the kids’ lunches, cleaning out the freezer, and putting the groceries away. Whew…

Then we made these:

Diary of a Singl-ish Dad - Day 1 & 2 1

Diary of a Singl-ish Dad - Day 1 & 2 2

Diary of a Singl-ish Dad - Day 1 & 2 3

Diary of a Singl-ish Dad - Day 1 & 2 4

Diary of a Singl-ish Dad - Day 1 & 2 5

Diary of a Singl-ish Dad - Day 1 & 2 6

Diary of a Singl-ish Dad - Day 1 & 2 7

Now… I shall nap.

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Dropbox

I just got done installing the Dropbox client in my fresh Ubuntu 8.10 install. And my files are magically syncing away. I’ve been blown away by this service and was stoked when I read that they had a Linux client available. What a great piece of web-backed software.

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WP 2.7 beta 1

I just upgraded to WordPress 2.7 beta 1… I’m overwhelmed by the new Dashboard. I haven’t gotten any further than that. It’s gorgeous. I can’t wait to get ‘comfy’ w/ this release.

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WP Plugin ‘Live Update’?

Holy cow. Leave the WordPress world for a few years and the features just seem amazing. Apparently, the latest version (or perhaps one a few releases earlier) notifies you when you have a plugin that is out of date and will allow you to update it from w/in the admin interface. No more tracking down the plugin author’s website, downloading, unzipping, uploading to your server, and configuring.

Perfect.

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beans

[I walk into the master bedroom w/ freshly heated baked beans and sit down to work at the computer.]

Mar: “I was praying that you’d know to bring me ice cream.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I had beans on my mind.”

Mar: “No. Obviously, you weren’t listening to the Holy Spirit.”

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Abby’s two

I still can’t believe it’s already here. The girl had a perfect day. We spent plenty of time w/ Grammie and Papa… and she got some fun presents that she just loves. She even got serenaded on the phone by some of her friends. I think she really felt special.

Abby's two 8Abby's two 9

Abby’s Second Birthday from Daniel Bishop on Vimeo.

God, she’s beautiful and I love her… even though she was up 7 times last night.

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bish vs. WU… fight!

I just managed to win my three day fight with Windows Update. What an ordeal to get updates to install! I figured I’d post my experience here so that anyone that happens to have a similar problem might find the solution or at least a direction they should start looking should they happen to find my blog in their search results.

Problem

3 days ago, I got a user’s laptop to the point where it needed 11 updates from “Microsoft Update”. I don’t believe that the specific updates were an issue, but for the sake of full disclosure, I’ll list them:

  • KB943649
  • KB945185
  • KB907417
  • KB943973
  • KB947355
  • KB945432
  • KB943985
  • KB950213
  • KB950380
  • KB950241

After displaying the list of updates that needed to be installed, I clicked “Install”. Normally, for 11 updates, I’d let the machine sit for fifteen or twenty minutes before checking to see if it was done installing. That day happened to be a fairly slow day so I sat and watched it out of the corner of my eye while fiddling w/ my Twitter client’s request-rate-limits (Oh, Twitter… /sigh). Within a few minutes, a result window popped up declaring that all 11 updates failed to install. I didn’t think it was a big deal… restarted the laptop and tried again. Same result.

Troubleshooting

“Ok, I’ve had this trouble before.” I recalled. “What did I do?”

Previously, when encountering this issue, I’d perform the following:

  1. Stop the Automatic Updates service.
  2. Navigate to “C:WindowsSoftwareDistributionDownload” and delete all contents.
  3. Navigate to “C:WindowsSoftwareDistributionEventCache” and delete all contents.
  4. Start the Automatic Updates service.
  5. Re-visit Microsoft/Windows Update site and get updates detected and installed.

Normally, that’d take care of it. It didn’t yesterday. I’d empty those folders, restart the service, return to Microsoft Update and upon detecting the 11 updates I needed to install, it would inform me that it had already downloaded the necessary data and wouldn’t require any time to do so. BAH!

After fighting with it some more today (wasting time!), I remembered that the company I work for has a WSUS machine setup at corp. HQ in California. They’ve used this WSUS machine to block certain updates that have not been qualified by corp. IT yet or have been marked as disruptive to internal applications. At this point, I assumed that this was the cause of my problem.

I unplugged the network cable, turned on the wireless card, and hopped onto our ‘test’ wifi that isn’t connected to the internal company network. The Download and EventCache folders were still empty, so I figured I had a good shot of getting the updates installed this time. However, I had the same symptom: “11 updates, 0MB, 0Min.”

“What the hell?”

Solution

I did some more poking around in the SoftwareDistribution directory. I found a “C:WindowsSoftwareDistributionWuRedir” directory w/ some .cab files and .xml files sitting in subdirectories. After stopping the AU service again, I removed the whole “WuRedir” directory and restarted the AU service.

Still on the external wireless, I revisited Microsoft Update. This time: “11 updates, thirty-something MB, 10Min.” Fifteen minutes later, they were all downloaded and installed successfully.

Finally.

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Passing down the tradition

My son and I spent some time playing w/ my old Lego collection today. As I was putting him to bed, I was reminded of a Lego set I saw in the store as a 12 year old and just WANTED. My dad encouraged me to save my money and after several months, I had the $50 necessary to buy that set.

Tonight, 18 years later… I rebuilt it using instructions I found online. I was surprised how many of the original pieces I actually still had. I got most of it built aside from the ailerons and the related linkages. I was missing too many of the small technic parts… I wonder if I can purchase just the pieces I’m missing somewhere in order to finish it off?

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Dead ants, Dead ants, Dead ants!

A letter of thanks.
Dear Terro,
Your liquid poison-based traps worked ridiculously fast. My wife and I are amazed at how well they work. We’ve been fighting an ant infestation behind our oven for almost a week. Thank you, thank you, thank you for creating a non-messy, effective way to eliminate the intruders in our kitchen!
The Bishops