Wish I was Goin’ Down to Dunwich

Lots of stuff and things lately. Finally finished the Atlassian migration. It does still require work, upgrading things to a supported version that allows me to migrate the next set of Atlassian foo. But that's for another week. Speaking of Carcosa Corp, found out we're offically moving offices to the main set of offices in DFW. Not sure how much it will apply to me, since there's no current plan to move the DC we have. So that's something we need to work out. Move is in the next quarter or two. Looking forward to yet another wild fun of moving offices.

Speaking of moving, it's offical, I'm not moving this year. Too much other stuff going on. Work, timing, my own stress levels, and when the season of hot hits the area. So I signed a 9 month leason (starts May 1st), so I'll be trying to move right after the New year 2020. No idea where I'm going still. Will depend on work, on what I can find, and honestly, where is the best location for access to my favorite book haunts. So instead of moving I'm going to do a major declutter and moving of stuff into storage, and getting rid of things I'll never use or need again. (already have several bags of clothes to go to Goodwill). So hopefully when it comes time to move, I won't be in a huge scramble. We'll see.

Weekend was helping a friend out, managed to get myself majorly dusted, and tweaked my back. So I'm taking it easy tonight, watching movies and taking it easy. Tomorrow is probably chores, assuming I feel like moving around. Then it's another crazy week of work. And that's all I have, and have had for the last couple of hours. So I guess I'll call this a post.

State of the Fox

October hasn't been what I'd call a great month. Work is lots of stress, lots of change and not a lot of concrete stuff. I'm officially a Subject Matter Expert for something I really do not to be involved in, but I am the guy with the most knowledge ATM. At least the project is a complete new build out, so hopefully I can do it right from the start.

I turned 46. I still don't feel 46. What the hell happened? I'll buy my 30's, since I can at least keep my checkbook balanced. Oh well. On my spawning day I went and saw a screening of 'Prince of Darkness' at the Alamo Drafthouse. Good way to spend the end of my spawning day.

Last night I went to the wake of a friend of mine from college. Saw a lot of people I haven't seen in too many years. Lots of stories, laughs, tears. I have a lot of stuff in my head that I have to process. Don't worry, nothing bad, just stuff in my life and how I view my life I think I need to change. I'm also sorry it took a friend dying for me to reach out and see those friends from my past. *sad*

Health wise, things are mixed. When I'm mindful of my eating, and my stress isn't super high, my bloodsugars are hovering a smidge above normal. When the stress kicks in, or I do something stupid like eat too much pizza (aka today), they're all over the place. My dealings with CareNow have sunk to a new low, I need to find a GP so I don't have to deal with unprofessional medical staff. I have a couple of leads from people I trust, so that's good. Depression/anxiety and stress is making the brainmeats tricky to manage, along with constant focusing on my blood sugar and how my eyes are acting. *yawn* I also am having issues sleeping solid, stress is for the feckin birds.

So what's coming up ? A follow up eye-doctor visit on Wednesday, then after that I hope to have stable enough vision to get my normal bifocal glasses. Various work projects, next weekend is more social time, and going to see some classic horror flicks next Sunday. Mostly though, I'm just going to be trying to keep the anxiety/stress levels from hitting peak levels again. *crosses tentacles*

Well I thought last week was bad

The current state of the Fox in regards to work. It's copied from Facebook, so it might not be completely coherent, or grammatically correct.

Last night:
Tomorrow morning is probably going to be interesting, in the 'may you live in interesting times' way. Cross tentacles and have kittens on standby if it goes pearshaped.

Well, I got my answers. Branch of the company I've been working at is being sold. The buyer of the branch has elected to not bring me along permanently. I will continue to work here through the migration til it is complete, or 1 year, which ever comes first. There is no guarantee I will have a position with corporate at the end of that period. If one is found, I keep working for parent, otherwise it's a severance package and a good luck in my future endeavors. .

Not doing good at all. Not one little bit. I know it's life in a big corporation, but I still feel like shit scraped off a shoe. Please no advice right now, or 'you know you're a good employee' or other well meant platitudes. The sudden reality check I just is going to be louder than anything else right now. Caring and kitten/critter pictures much more welcome.

Later today:
Working from home the rest of the day. Did figure out that these changes mean that two of my PITA projects are either going to halt or drop in scope. Also, various local people have pointed out that they're pulling for newcorp to bring me over because I'm a valuable resource (and I fit in well). So that helps. Still going to update the resume, and spend part of the new few weeks documenting out the weird stuff that only I do. In case of being run over by bus, or being thrown under the bus. *is a professional*

As for me care. Working from home for one. Ordered a cheesesteak for two. Weekend plans are probably going to be near/all hermiting because well, *gestures wildly at the last few weeks* I have shelves to put together, and the reorg of the library should be worked on, especially since I have a fancy respirator now to filter out the dust. Plus books, and movies, and probably some plotting and planning. Also, this will not affect my plans for the HPLFF. There's a mighty need for time with a large number of my tentacled tribe.

So, surviving, but frazzled.

Addendum. The powers that be at the local office are trying to convince newcorp that I'm a valuable member of the team, and to also bring me along. Which is appreciated. I'm not holding out a ton of hope, but when do I ever ? I guess we see what happens, and what I get done during the transition.

Week from Sheol

Oh elder gods and little fishies, this week has been crazy. All work foo. One, my fellow admin at Carcosa Corp was traveling for business, so 4 of the 5 days I was the lone admin. And it's patch week. And I had a large chunk of a project scheduled to go into production as of last night, with a process that i wasn't 100% comfortable with. Plus the usual daily foo. It's been rough. I haven't been sleeping solid, and I'm dragging today.

But work was pretty calm for normal sysadmin foo, my usual having to herd cats to get things scheduled for patching. And last night's big change went well. While it involved things I don't know well, databases and applications that run under Java, along with Microsoft Active Directory for the trifecta of eww, I made it all work, and I got things working faster than I estimated. So all would have been well if I'd gotten a full night's sleep. So of course I didn't. *eyeroll* At least I'm more comfortable with the whole process, now to just work out the 3rd magic step that has baffled the software vendor's support. Which I just had a small lightbulb moment about. Excuse me while I email myself.

*time passes*

Ok, note to future me sent. Will argue with it later this weekend, or Monday AM. Yay aha moments.

And with that, I think I'll end this post. Probably will be heading to bed and book early tonight. Hopefully I can get some real rest over the weekend. Night all.

The Thanks Giveth, The Thanks Taketh Away

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the US. But I can't say the last week and a half has made me terribly grateful. Carcosa Corp had a reduction in force. My manager and his manager are gone, and much worse, one of my best friends (and coworker) also got cut. There's also a major reorg in the works. But not much in the way of details, other than I still have a spot on the org chart for next year. To say I'm unhappy is a major understatement. People got decent severance packages from what I heard, and I don't see any of the people I know being out of work long. But I've got a case of survivor's guilt, plus not knowing what I'll be really doing in 2 months, plus trying to keep up with everything going on, and I'm a bundle of nerves. Spent most of this week dealing with Sybase database issues that I really don't know, though I'm learning a bunch on the fly. Working on Black Friday, where I'll be doing a crash course in database migration.

On top of that, I've been feeling lousy, not so much allergies as I think my BP meds are starting to have less affect on me. I'm going to the doctor next week for a med check/blood work. So I'll ask about things. My BP cuff says I'm about the same as always, but for all I know I'm using it wrong. Pshrink visit showed my bp as higher than usual. Speaking of physical foo, I sat wrong on my chair, and it slid out from under me and I hit the floor. No damage. other than it ratcheted my anxiety up (and gave my elbow a good whack). Depression is way up there too, I really need to stop looking at the news.

So, that's all the bad...or at least all the bad I can stomach writing about right now. So what's good? Well I invested in some blurays, 2 collections of Paul Naschy flicks (king of Spanish horror films). Most of which I've never seen, so I'm currently having a binge of his flicks. Definitely better than watching Sybase databases. Also lots of good books out, including a few signed books *waves at Pete Rawlik and Sam Gafford*. My friends, as always, are awesome, and I've gotten a lot of critter time recently. And I'm at least having less anxiety dreams. Oh yeah, and in joining the 21st century, I had my first grocery delivery. Not sure if I'll do this on a regular basis, there's a lack of some of my staples. But compared to going to the store 2 days before turkey day, it was amazing.

Long weekend plans? Tomorrow is sleeping in, then afternoon meal with Amythest and clan, staying as long as my cope lasts. Friday is another day at the office, with the above mentioned database migrations. Friday night will probably be more Naschy flicks. Saturday is the annual Soup and Movie fest, also at Amythest's place. Sunday will be chores and recovery and trying to find the tentacles to deal with the upcoming work week. Since I'm working on Black Friday, I'm off work the next Friday. Probably will be mostly a down weekend, vegging and such.

So that's the state of the fox. Feeling a little better getting some stuff down on virtual paper. Going to watch some more Eurohorror then head to bed. Night everyone.

And when things get weird…

Going to be a weird week for me. Most of the weekend was spent in some degree of sinus pain/pressure. Worked last night on some Carcosa Corp stuff, which wasn't bad, just took a while. Today came into work a tad late, but no random stuff being broke due to last night's work. I have bad luck with making late night changes that look fine, but in the cold light of day (and customer activity) you find the errors and mis-estimates. Not today, other than adjusting firewall rules to take the additional databases into account.

The weird starts with DR testing at work this week. I'm the guinea pig, as the new guy, I've been kind of deliberately kept in the dark, so when they hand me the documentation, we can see if there are flaws in it, that someone who's familiar with the process would just be able to fill in. We'll see how well this works. I'm kind of anxious because, hey, new situation. But it should be ok, or at least be educational.

I also have a friend going in for a what's supposed to be a minor surgical procedure. All should be ok, and it should be a day procedure. But of course, I'm twitchy. Don't like my friends in hospitals. *sigh*

Add in Friday's expected political insanity, I expect the internets to be utterly awash in hatred and anger. So I'll probably avoid much discussion, set filters to maximum, and maybe spend the weekend trying to translate the Voynich Manuscript. Or go to art museums and bookstores. Or binge on cheesy 80s horror movies. Or get on social media, and find 2000 more groups from all over the spectrum to block...

So this week will be a tad challenging. But there are perks. And books, and people who care. Oh yeah, and Cthulhu. Always good to have an eldritch monstrocity that drives you insane in your corner. So on that tentacled note, I'll ramble more later. I'm going to try to post more here, get back in my blogging habit, vs miniposts on Facebook.

Final day at Carcosa (for the moment)

Well, today was my last day at Carcosa Corp...as a contractor. Come Monday I fill out a bunch of online paperwork, pick my insurances is, provide a lot of details, and I'll be a real employee.

What does this mean, besides I'm back oncall for the first time in about 15 months. In a very adhoc manner, which will take some getting used to. I'm used to being on call one week, and off the next. Instead it's if you have plans let the others know, and whoever gets to the problem first handles it. I'd be more concerned, but I'm not the only hermit on staff. As for working non-core hours/weekends, I've been doing that to a degree anyway, this just makes it less of a 'keep up with hours' nickel and dime bit than it's been, which is fine by me. I rather be salary and just get stuff done. So lessening some of the more annoying bits of the job.

I have a new snazzy laptop, I've been trying to get the automatic VPN part to work, but it seems to have issues. I'll talk to our desktop IT guys on Monday about it.

So yeah, end of one chapter, begining of another. Even if it's mostly the same. See everyone Monday when I'm an offical Senior Shoggoth Wrangler for Carcosa Corportation. May the King in Yellow be gentle with your feels *wink*

News from Carcosa

I've posted this on my LJ and other social media, but I can't forget my trusty Deep One blog. A little over 2 weeks ago my boss at Carcosa Corp called me to give me the news, they were going to make me an offer to come on perm where I am. Same duties for the most part, with the addition of being oncall and being responsive to alerts and work outside of core hours. Well today I had a call with the HR rep. Long story short, I accepted the offer. 19 PTO days a year, good benefits, and both a title change (adding a 'Senior' to my title) and the money that goes with it. Went and did the drug screen and filled out the info for my background check. If everything goes according to plan, I'll come on board on December 12th. So happy. So is everyone I work with, I seem to be a popular fellow there. So yeah, things are going swimmingly. Now if only Carcosa Corp would open an office in Innsmouth, I'd be set. *wink*

Patching servers and stress

Well this week has been iffy. I slept for crap all last weekend, so come Monday I gave into the voices in my head and called in. And mostly spent the day sleeping or napping. I ended up making up the time this week, including a 15 hour day on Thursday for 4th quarter patch fest.

In Vulpinese, I'm what I call a burst worker. I rather do a large task in one shot, rather than break it up over multiple days. So even though we had today and yesterday to patch all the dev and stage servers, I wanted to it all on Thursday. But between working around the QA folks and developers, I was behind by the time it was after working hours. Worked from 08:30 to 23:30, and by the end I was loopy enough that I was making mistakes. And I still have a number of servers to work on, and I had a dev environment of many databases to get online. My original fix no longer brings the databases up correctly, and I was too fried to figure out the hunt and peck fix I did months ago. So I tried shutting it all down, and running them back up even slower to prevent race conditions...but it didn't work as I came in with a number of stacks still offline. I also came into some dorked hosts. Yeah, I was having flashbacks to the Shoggoth Pit when I'd walk in after an extended shift to even more work.

We fixed the hosts, and I manually got the dev enthronement back online. Discussed the issues with my boss, and I think we have a better idea of time frames and scheduling. It will require more late nights, patching dev one night, and the two stage environments on separate nights, or at least making QC and Dev only work on one environment while the other is patched.

(interruption for the non geek. We run three environments. Development, where our dev group code stuff. Stage is where things are tested in as close to a clone of our production environment, which is what the customers talk to day to day. Aka, don't touch prod until state has been tested like crazy. Lesson ends)

Speaking of production, we won't be updating that til next Sunday evening. I'm hoping I'll be working with the other admins on my team for that one, so it's not so rushed. And speaking of Sunday, I'm going back into work this Sunday for that last 4 servers I couldn't do today for reasons. Any time I work on Sunday will equal leaving early next week.

So yeah, today has not been the most fun. I was exhausted, stressed, and down on myself. On the plus side, no one was unprofessional or rude, far from it. Also, my fellow admins went out of their way to remind me they are really glad I work with them, and that I do a good job. Which I did really need to hear.

Came home a while ago, I'm majorly dragging. Watching 'Event Horizon' because I needed horror in space. I'm also thinking of watching 'Prometheus' because I enjoy it, and because no matter how bad you feel, you're probably smarter than the scientists on that ship. Tomorrow I'm going to see 'Doctor Strange'. Oh and hopefully sleep in.

The short answer, I am tired as hell, I'm kind of frazzled, but I'll be ok. I have books, I have movies, and all will be well. Night all.

Milestones at Carcosa

I'm reaching milestones at Carcosa Corp. Tomorrow is my one month anniversary there. In some ways it feels longer, in others it's shorter. I'm starting to get my tentacles into stuff more interesting to me, and I'm getting a rep as the guy who'll cheerfully give you a hand. As in going to people's desks to see exactly what the error is, or offering to come in early (or stay late) to get stuff done. Like tomorrow, showing up 30 min early to help the desktop guy with rolling out some workstations (I get to move the network cables, all that wiring foo at the Shoggoth Pit paying off). I'm still wrestling with getting things to work, but I'm getting into the swing of things. And I like the location, the coworkers, and definitely the commute. Oh yeah, and the money isn't bad at all. *grin*

Milestone two was tonight. I made my first change to a production server. In English, I got to make a change to something that customers use. What amuses me is having to go through the whole change process that Carcosa uses, vs what I used to do at the Shoggoth Pit. I made two system changes, and added a logrotate entry. At the Shoggoth Pit that would have been done probably been done live as the customer requested it, really minor change. At most, I'd have scheduled it for a weekend/late night change to be nice. At Carcosa, I tested it on a test box, made some changes to my plan on advice from a coworker, then set it up in a staging enviroment, then got a coworker to sanity check my change. (which took the longest), then made a service change ticket laying out all I was going to do, how it would impact, when would be the best time, and how I'd back out if there were problems. Then I got...*counts* 4? execs to approve, then had to check to see if said change would interfere with other planned stuff, then finally got approval. Then I backed up the files I planned on changing, waited til traffic stopped, made the change, tested it all kinds of ways, wrote notes on both the request ticket and the change ticket, let my two partners in crime know verbally how to roll things back, emailed the project manager letting him know it was done, and I left. So many more steps, so much more work and process...

I like it this way. Yes it's slower, but that's expected. The exec who requested the change didn't hover or push, he let things take the process. If it hadn't worked, I had time to fix things, and a plan to back out gracefully. That's how they do everything that could have customer impact. None of the 'Well we need to upgrade, and if it breaks...well, we'll try to fix it before dawn. or Monday.' Redundacy, capacity, rules that are followed. These are the things that help me sleep at night, and keep me from hovering over work email (about the only thing I can hit from remote since I'm contract). I sleep so much better, I can go to bed and read without checking my phone every little while. I don't jump when my phone goes off. This is what I needed.

It's not perfect, I get in way early (for me), I have to attend way many meetings. Sometimes I am very confused as to what's going on. I spend a lot of time twitching my way through various versions of software, and ye gods I wish I was running at least one Linux workstation. (I do a lot of Windows stuff that is just easier to do in a Windows workstation). I miss having a remote connection to home. But I don't need the lifeline like I did.

So here's to my first month, and my first prod change, and to a happy fox. Tomorrow I'll be in early, and probably leaving early. Definitely going to get some celebratory dinnerness, and watch fun movies. Go me :)