D E M E N T E D P E N G U I N . N E T

September 3, 2011

Things I love

Filed under: general topics,vacation — Tags: , , — admin @ 3:20 am

What makes a man? There are the obvious choices – money, possessions, power. Not for me – I love my wife, my son, my dog, and my job; and in that order. If I were to lose any of those four things my life would be drastically impacted. Unfortunately my job seems to take up most of my waking hours, which is unfair to the other three. Thank goodness for having such a forgiving family, but it pains me that they have to be in such a situation. I am now in the transition to becoming a manager, and I still have my previous systems admin responsibilities on top of that, so I’m afraid of what will come from all of that. In the past two weeks I’ve worked until at least 5am 4 days, and at least until 2am the rest.

I am currently on vacation for just shy of a week. Since I’ve started on my vacation I’ve been checking and responding to work email, and took the family to work today for our bi-weekly “show-n-tell” where everything current in the company is showcased. I did that because I knew Hayden would like to go (he is so proud of anything to do with me and Riot Games), but is it a sickness, dedication, or an addiction? I’m pretty certain it’s at least a combination of two, if not all three of those.

In addition to work, we also went to Paradise Cove beach in Malibu today, then to Hayden’s jujitsu class. Tomorrow we are going to Knott’s Berry Farm and then to a Judo competition for Hayden on Sunday in the OC. Not sure what the rest of my vacation will bring, but I’m hoping to do some stuff with my new solar panel and planter box (post coming soon on ecoexist), as well as maybe make it to the Getty and/or the beach again.

January 10, 2011

World Traveler – expanded edition

Filed under: general topics — admin @ 4:17 pm

Unfortunately on my last update I was in a rush to finish my meager post because I was almost out of wifi range at the airport. Now that I’m back home again I can take a little more time to fill in more details.

It has been a very busy past few months. In October I flew to Germany for a few days for Riot Games, in November I went to San Jose for the LISA conference, in December I went to Dallas to install some Home Exchange servers, and then this month (as I posted previously) I went on a trip to Singapore, Philippines, and Taipei for Riot. I’ve been told that there are going to be a lot more traveling opportunities in the near future, but we’ll see if that pans out or not.

Hayden has been doing a great job in school this year. They have a card system where if their card “gets turned” it changes color. It goes from green, to yellow, to red I believe. He has only had his card turned twice all year long. He does so much better when he has a stable and consistent school environment. He had a great Christmas, and I think he got everything he asked for – including a pair of Guinea Pigs named Cloe and Sage. Sage is very friendly and likes to explore a lot – he looks like one of the beavers from the Angry Beavers cartoon. Cloe is much more reserved and skittish, but she’s cute.

Zoe has been a very spoiled dog lately. She got a huge bed for Christmas which is really fluffy. She hardly ever gets off of it because she loves it so much. She’s been getting a lot of attention, has been going on car trips with us more often lately, and has been our hiking buddy too. For her it truly is a dogs life.

Nickey has been making a few friends lately, which she has really needed. The people in Los Angeles are so hard to get to commit to anything, so “friends” are very difficult to come by here when you didn’t grow up here. I got her an official sock monkey for Christmas which she has sort of turned into her mascot on her new blog site – http://penguinpaperie.blogspot.com/. I think she’s been very happy lately with life in general. Hayden has been doing well, Zoe’s happy, Loki is hopefully in a happier home (and isn’t causing us grief anymore), and she and I have been a lot closer lately. It’s a good life.

May 15, 2010

He’s so cute

Filed under: general topics,Sleeping Hayden — admin @ 1:33 am

Fresh off the Blackberry….

May 6, 2010

Getting ready to move

Filed under: general topics — admin @ 8:40 pm

We are a day away from having a yard sale, which hopefully won’t be too torturous. Hayden is getting ready to sell refreshments while it’s going on – honey buns, juice, and other such items. He’s really becoming an entreprenuer these days, which has got to be because of the school he’s going to. I’ll be sure to get pictures of him at his store.

Only 11 more days until we can start moving into our new appartment. We’ve decided to short sale the house because it’s just been a losing battle lately trying to make the huge payments. It was a hard decision to make at first but I think it was the right one. It’s already had a possitive impact on us in that we’re much less burdened by the financial responsibility and finally can do things again. By selling the house and moving to an appartment we’ll be saving about $1200 a month in house payments alone. We’re moving to a nice place – it’s about 1500 sq ft, 3bd, 3ba, with
a 2 car garage in a gated community.

Work is getting crazy again because we’re building out a whole new colocation (where the servers go for those who don’t know) which is on an accelerated schedule because we need it done asap. We have less than a week left before we might potentially go live with it and we have about three weeks of work left. On top of this my side contract job has been a bit more demanding lately as well so I don’t seem to have much time for anything during the week days. At least the weekends are fairly quiet and I can spend time with the family. Haden has mentioned a few times that he doe
sn’t see me much anymore, so I try to spend as much time with him on the weekends as I can.

Speaking of Hayden, here’s another in the Sleeping Hayden series, isn’t he cute!

May 4, 2010

New series – Sleeping Hayden

Filed under: general topics — admin @ 1:40 pm

I hate to say it but I do like to antagonize the kid on occasion. Apparently it drives him nuts when I take cute pictures of him while he’s sleeping, so I’ve decided to start a new blog series – Sleeping Hayden. Here’s the first offering:

I also wanted to add a text message I got from my wife yesterday. She was out shopping around and sent me a message, “We’re on our way to Best Buy, after H poops.”. Lmao

March 7, 2010

Week 10 of 2010 update

Filed under: general topics — admin @ 1:45 am

It seems at times that our lives are a little predictable, until I go to (finally) update my blog. Now that I review what has gone on since my last update I see there has been quite a few things.

Let’s start off with the best part. Last Thursday was our 5th wedding anniversary. I know there were many dissidents when we started out on this journey, and we admittedly almost didn’t make it, but here we are. In an unexpected way it seems the separation has really helped us both to realize how we are, how we interact and communicate with each other, and what we need to do to avoid getting back in that situation again. We have already been able to diffuse a few situations that previously would have caused us issues. Enough with that stuff though – I took the day off from work to celebrate the day. We took a motorcycle ride down to Malibu and were headed to a place called Neptunes Net for lunch. Unfortunately we didn’t plan things very well and just decided to wing it a little, we weren’t completely sure where Neptunes was. We drove and drove until we hit the Ventura county line and decided me must have passed it. We drove back to a Starbucks, to warm up a little, and asked where Neptunes was. The barista told us the place was 10 minutes in the direction we just drove nine minutes returning from! We left Starbucks and headed back the way we came – come to find out we were about 200 yards from the place when we turned around. Oy…. We had to pick up Hayden from school in an hour so we didn’t have time to stop an eat unfortunately. We’ll have to save that for another day. At least we got to go for a ride on the bike, I know Nickey really likes to go for rides and I like taking her. I kept thinking as we were riding along the beach how lucky we were to be able to ride on PCH in Malibu on a nice sunny day. Not a perfect anniversary celebration, but a pretty darn good one.

Hayden has been in his new school for a few weeks now and has been going through his usual “adjustment” period. He tends to test the limits of what he can and can’t get away with in a new situation like this, which always ends up in a meeting with the teacher. This was no exception. We met with the teacher last week, which ironically is about the time he backs off and starts to conform. I assured her that he would most likely be a much more attentive student after our meeting, which so far has been the case. He’s a great kid and, like his parents, a rebel at heart. As Nickey has noticed he is not afraid of adults and has no problem challenging them when he can. I wish I had that kind of moxie. Even though it’s definitely frustrating a lot of the time, I really respect and am proud of him for his fortitude – I just worry about when he becomes a teenager….

Hayden had an incident on Friday at his school where, apparently, four kids had him cornered. One had his arm pulled up behind his back, one was pulling on his tie, one was saying to “kill him”, and I’m not sure what the fourth was doing. We heard about this from his principal who said the students were suspended for a day since they have a no tolerance policy for violence, and they have to write a letter of apology to Hayden. We have no idea what triggered the whole event, but Hayden had an almost Zen-like view on the whole thing. He told Nickey that he wasn’t afraid because he didn’t feel like he was in danger. What? Four kids and one is saying they should kill him and he didn’t feel like he was in danger??? I want to hire a couple of bullies to teach these kids a lesson!! All I can say is I hope their parents don’t take this incident lightly. If it happens again I’m going to be really pissed.

Today Nickey drove down to San Diego for a scrapbooking thing. I’m not really certain exactly what it was but I know there were demonstrations, classes, and the opportunity to buy lots of stuff. She was gone all day so Hayden and I hung out in our PJ’s. We (read that as I) built a solar car experiment kit that Grandma gave him for Christmas, and we built a wooden tow truck that I believe the same Grandma gave to him. As Hayden does, after I built the solar car he reconfigured it in his own style and then took it outside to see how it would perform. At least he’s learning about solar and mechanical integration, even if it is by destroying all the work I did that took me several hours. It was a pretty fun day and we don’t get to spend many days where it’s just the two of us.

So many home projects to finish. I’m almost done with the latest bathroom project. The master bathroom had a termite issue on the exterior wall. I ripped out the drywall, cleaned up the wood and (hopefully) killed off all of the termites. It wasn’t a very large infestation and was pretty centralized so I feel confident it’s been remidied. I insulated the wall,drywalled it, mudded it, and put on two coats of primer. Now I just need to texture it then Nickey is going to repaint the whole bathroom. It’s taken me quite a bit longer than I thought it would to get this far, but then again that’s usually how it goes. The bathroom we completely gutted and refinished over a year ago still isn’t finished. I seem to hit something that blocks me and then it just stalls. I’m going to work on finishing that up next because if I don’t finish the projects I’ve started then I won’t be allowed to start any new projects – and I still need to insulate the bedroom walls before it starts getting too hot outside.

As I mentioned in my last update, I won a little bit of money in Vegas. One of the things I did with the money was to buy a treadmill. I’ve been wanting one for a while, and even more so now that I’ve started exercising again. Both Nickey and I have been using it pretty regularly so I think it was a good investment. Some would say that getting outside is the best way to exercise instead of a treadmill, but I’ve always been the type of exerciser that prefers privacy so I’m less likely to get out – I’ve been much more consistent when using a treadmill when I know I’ll be alone. The treadmill in the garage is perfect. I’ve got an old laptop out there – running Ubuntu of course – hooked up to speakers and wifi so we can listen to Pandora. I’m going try out Hulu one of these days and Nickey can put in one of her exercise dvd’s if she wants too. I can also download recordings from one of our Tivo’s to watch as well. Whatever it takes to make sure we keep on track.

Nickey was working for a medical company the last time I updated, but soon after left that job. She compared it to the movie Boiler Room. It really wasn’t the right environment for her and I was surprised when she took it in the first place. She soon found another job working as an assistant for, what I would call, a 78 year old dreamer. I’ve met him once and he’s a really nice guy. Unfortunately he doesn’t seem to keep up on some of his responsibilities and has fallen behind on property taxes and other things. He told Nickey last week that he was in financial dire straits and couldn’t afford to keep her on as an assistant for more than a few hours a week. She’s now looking for another job. It’s too bad, working for Harry was exactly the type of job she fits I feel.

Work for me has been ramping back up again lately. So much so that we are looking for two or three more people to add to our department. We need a director of operations and one or two more systems administrators. It’s surprising how difficult it is to find quality people in the LA area – I would think it would be much easier considering how many companies there are in the area. I’m supposed to have my review on Monday – hopefully they won’t be looking for two to three SA’s afterwards 😉

I guess other than that, it’s been raining too much for me lately, the dogs are doing well, the cat is starting to look a little ragged, and I love riding my motorcycle to work every day. What more is there?

September 27, 2009

One last try….

Filed under: general topics — Tags: — admin @ 12:17 am

Last week I talked to Nickey for the first time in about two weeks. We talked a few times during the week – thanks to Nickey’s sister Tomi, who said that Hayden was feeling that I had abandoned him. When I talked to him, he asked me if I was going to “quit on him”. Aww – I felt so bad. I have *really* been missing him a lot lately. I’ve been unsure of what to do as far as he’s concerned, thinking back to what it was like for me as a child and having to deal with things between my own divorced parents growing up. Part of me felt I needed to make a clean break since I’m sure Nickey will find someone new eventually who will take the lead role as “dad”, and another part of me didn’t want to just let him go like that. I guess when I got the email from Tomi the choice was made a little more vividly clear, and when I talked to Hayden and he asked me that I felt like a total heal for even considering the clean break option. Between my pending divorce and that I let him down as a father I feel like a total and complete failure at this point. Poor kid. I told Nickey once that anyone can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a Dad. I really let him down there.

His birthday is on October 4th and I’ve been trying to figure out what I can do for him. I already sent some money for his birthday and today I got him a way too expensive gift – of course it’s bought out of guilt for how I’ve been lately, but I feel like I have so much to make up for where he’s concerned. I drive past his old school in the mornings on my way to work and see all the kids out playing and I can’t help but think of him. I can’t even go in his room because I’m so ashamed of how this has, and will, affected him.

For the time being, I’ve set a schedule to call him every Sunday. It does somewhat mirror my own childhood schedule with my mom but instead of the first and third Sundays I’m going to try to make it every Sunday.

The reason for the title of this post is because during one of the conversations I had with Nickey (an hour and a half long one) I told her I wanted to ask a question, just to get it out there and make sure we were on the same page as far as our relationship goes. I asked if she thought there was any chance of our relationship being repaired at all. She said that if she could get a guarantee that things would be completely different then she’d be back in a heartbeat but she didn’t think that was possible, so no. I have to agree with her, I seriously can’t guarantee something like that. I would totally commit to trying, but to Nickey – “Trying is failing with honor”. So back to the plan to file again. How could I wait until I was 35 to get married, when I thought I might be grown up enough to do such a thing finaly, and fuck it up so bad.

September 15, 2009

Work and life

Filed under: general topics — admin @ 12:16 am

Seems like as the weeks go by things are getting crazier at work. Lately I haven’t been able to leave before 10:30 and I’m working on the weekends more and more. I’ll probably have to go in at least one day this coming weekend. Management is under the impression that after the game releases at the end of this month that things will start to quiet down after two weeks. None of us are fooled however, and we know it will be months before all the “hotfixes” and bugs are all sorted out. We’ve been searching for months now for another systems administrator to help out and now that we have two weeks until the game launches it’s seemingly a futile endeavor. Who would have thought that with the talented pool of professionals in L.A. that we still have not found anyone to fill the job. We’re finding that people are either a) completely crazy, b) lazy, c) not technical enough, or d) don’t have the personality to fit our company culture. If you’re reading this and think you have what it might take to work here, drop me a line – PLEASE.

I helped out my neighbor last weekend with installing WordPress on his Mac. I’ve never used a Mac before so it was really a learning experience for both of us. He was quite generous in his payment for my services by bbq’ing me a nice slab of salmon, wine, and a cigar. Being a former native of the Seattle area it makes complete sense that I love salmon. I would eat it every day if I could. There might be a point where I’ll need his help because I recently got a Samsung netbook through work (so I can be even more available) and I set aside a partition to install MacOS. I found a cool “Hackintosh” website (don’t have the link atm or I’d post it) that tells how to do the installation. I’ve been wanting to dable more in BSD as well as Mac’s, so it just sort of makes sense to give it a try. My biggest road block to getting a Mac has always been the price of their laptops, so this would be a great way to circumvent that. Most of the engineering team where I work use Mac’s so it would also help me to support them. I’ll post my progress on that – if there is any.

I’ve been practicing every day on the guitar and I think I’m slowly getting more fluid. I also finaly figured out how to tune my acoustic guitar, which is surprisingly easy to do. Here’s a great link: http://www.howtotuneaguitar.org/tuning/how-to-tune/ . I’m not ready to go on tour or anything, but hopefully I’ll get good enough that I could “jam” some day.

The house is almost completely cleaned up now. There’s mostly the sunroom left to clean, as well as some stuff that I need to decide if I need to donate, store, or throw out now. I’m thinking of painting next, but money is becoming a huge issue lately. After paying a ton of bills this past weekend and seeing the end balance in my account it is becoming rapidly clear that I need to re-re-re-evaluate my spending habits and pare them back even more. I can’t even afford to file for the divorce now. I’ll find a way but it may take some time unfortunately. It’s like a noose around my neck lately and it really needs to be done.

The dogs and the cat are all healthy and (seemingly) happy. The cat and I actually get along pretty well, which is strange because we really didn’t get along before. At least she has plenty of freedom, but I feel bad for the dogs. They have been amazingly good considering I’ve left them in the house for as much as 15 hours at a time. I try to leave as early as I can from work but, like I said, it’s been really crazy lately. They are really troopers and it’s so nice to come home and see how excited they are. They jump all over me and give me lots of love. I wonder where I’d be right now without them.

This past weekend I made a list of what I want from life. I think part of my problem over the last few years has been focus related – in every sense. I’m trying to come up with a list of what I want from life, what I feel I need in order to actually be happy. It’s obviously going to be a work in progress based on where I’m at and what’s going on at that time, but I’m trying to set the foundation vision for my future. Think of it as a mission statement for my life if you will. Oddly enough my strongest personality trait – “detective” – plays no part in my future. Wonder what that means….

One nice thing about everything that’s been going on lately is that I now have a whole new (well, old) wardrobe. I can now fit into clothes that I wore 4 years ago. I’ve lost about 25 pounds total now and am hoping to lose another 20 or so. It seems I’ve hit a bit of a plateau though, so we’ll see how it goes. If I can be more consistent about working out then I think I’ll break over the cliff of the plateau and hit my goal. I try to work out in the mornings but the past week I’ve been sleeping through my alarms. I don’t know what that’s all about….

Until next time – live the life you deserve, desire, and really need. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Words I have yet to live by.

September 5, 2009

New adventures

Filed under: general topics — admin @ 10:41 pm

In my last update I mentioned that I was going to go to La Jolla with the dogs. We did make the trip, although when I realized just how far it was going to be I almost decided not to go. But I know the dogs love their car rides so I decided to go after all – in the name of adventure. When we got there it was close to being a parking lot so we didn’t get to see as much as I’d planned to, but the puppies did get to enjoy a chicken sandwich like I promised them.

The following weekend (last weekend) my friend came in to town for a few days. It was great having him here and he helped me to enjoy sitting out in the yard as well as swimming again. We went out to eat, sat outside and talked at night, and even managed to drive by the beach at one point – we were planning to stop and go to the beach but time was running out before he had to leave to catch his plane and the beaches were packed anyway. On the way back I took him through this tiny little town I’d been through a few times before that has this somewhat odd kind of store in it. It’s almost a hippy kind of second hand shop. They have incense burning and all kinds of strange objects for sale as well as clothes. While looking through the store I happened upon an acoustic guitar (which I’d been wanting for some time), a Mitchell MD 100s. Being the nerd that I am I pulled out my blackberry and searched for reviews and prices online and found it to have high reviews. The price they had for it was very reasonable compared to what it was new so I decided to get it, in lieu of my aforementioned tattoo from a previous post. I try to play it every day if I can, but the problem is that I don’t know how to tune an acoustic guitar yet. My electric guitar is easy – just plug in the tuner and hit a string. I’ll have to do some research I guess.

This week has been undeniably one of the craziest since I started working at this place. We had three catastrophic site failures yesterday alone, and the prior days were long and stressful. It’s funny though, this is probably the fastest and most stressful job (work-wise) I’ve ever had but I love every minute of it. I just wish I was still a contractor sometimes getting those contractor dollars 🙂

This weekend we actually get as a three day holiday. Because of that I completely wasted today and did nothing – except for a couple loads of laundry. I got up after 10, took a nap this afternoon, and haven’t really ventured out anywhere at all. I haven’t even gotten out of my pajamas yet and it’s 10:30 at night! I was tempted to go to the Harley dealership because they had a big sale today, but I don’t really have the money to spend on the bike right now. I really want new pipes tho…. The next two days though I’m planning to do more. I’ve got the bug to do a little exploring. Pack up the dogs and drive somewhere, have lunch, and hopefully get out and stretch our legs a little. I kinda want to go fishing too, but we’ll see about that.

August 25, 2009

Great day in SoCal

Filed under: crazy woman,driving in LA,general topics,lapd — admin @ 11:03 pm

It was a really nice day today – I even left for work a little late so I could stay and enjoy the morning outside with the dogs. They are really such hams these days, so happy and always ready to play. I took a few extra breaks at work today to go out and enjoy the sunshine. Tonight is comfortable and cloudless. I took a long swim after I got home and just floated around while the dogs played. All-in-all not a bad day.

I’m really looking forward to this weekend. My friend comes in to town Friday night and is going to spend the whole weekend here. Unfortunately that means I need to pick up the pace on cleaning up the house, but I think I can get it done in time. Not sure exactly what we’re going to do yet but I have a couple of ideas that should be pretty fun.

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