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What Changed? January 16, 2015

Posted by General Zod in Humor, Storytime, Tech.
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OK.  Well, it has been several months since I’ve had anything worth talking about on my little blog… but today, something happened that made me very grateful that I no longer do workstation support as my primary function.

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The Best Career Move I Ever Made May 11, 2011

Posted by General Zod in Storytime, Tech.
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Back in 2004, I was hired by a rather large corporation to do the Systems Engineering for one of their sites.  One of the first things I’d asked for were details on deployment standards, so that I could make sure that any new systems were being deployed properly.  My manager pulled me aside and explained to me that our site was what was known as a “Delivery Center” that was separate from the company’s global network and were used to host any customer facing servers.  Unofficially, this meant that we were the “black sheep” of the company… and I was instructed by my manager to “make it up as I go”, because we weren’t held to the same standards as the other sites.

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Why Friends Disappear after having Kids January 18, 2011

Posted by General Zod in Advice, Family, Storytime.
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Lately, I’ve been thinking about some of my old friends and how I haven’t seen them in many years.  After I had kids, several of them seemed to stop calling or visiting… and that was to be expected.  Of course, most of them probably thought that I was the one who dropped out.

Well… perception is reality.  So for those “child-free” folks out there who just don’t seem to understand why your friend who just had a kid has suddenly disappear from their social lives… here’s the scoop from someone who’s gone through it.

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Cinco de Mayo May 5, 2010

Posted by General Zod in Food, Storytime.
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At one of my previous jobs, most of the management staff were very serious drinkers… and it didn’t help that there was a bar on the first floor in the back of the same building.

Now don’t get me wrong… I’m not a prude.  I don’t mind if the folks around me get a little loose and indulge from time to time.  I’ve done my share of drinking over the years.  Heck, I’ve done my share… your share… and John Smith’s share of drinking back in my day.  My record was a 62-hour black-out… but that’s another story (that someone else needs to tell, because I don’t remember a bit of it).  However, there were some folks at this company that raised it to a seriously competitive level.

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Gaming and MoonPie Memories March 4, 2010

Posted by General Zod in Food, Games, Storytime.
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I was waxing nostalgic this morning, and started thinking about some old friends that I haven’t laid eyes on in years.  In my early 20’s, I had decided that I wanted to put together a group to play some Dungeons & Dragons.  As a publicly accessible internet was still yet to become commonplace, I decided to send out an invitation to the users on a local BBS to see if anyone else was interested.  Those who responded to my call-to-arms rallied together, and we spent years gaming with pencil, paper, and dice under the moniker of the “Kentucky Fried Gamers”.  (The KFG name had nothing to do with the state or the chicken franchise… but more from a mutual appreciation for a specific film from the ZAZ film trio.)  During our time together, we enjoyed not only D&D, but also… BattleTech, ShadowRun, Twilight 2000, Starfleet Battles, Call of Cthulhu, Alternity, Car Wars, the World of Darkness, and many others.

This group developed into what (at that time) would be my greatest source of friendship and happiness as well as a wealth of heartache and grief.  My time with these people helped to shape me into the person I am today, and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.  We’ve all grown up since then.  In the simplest terms with the most convenient definitions, we’ve become… a software developer, a forklift operator, a virtualization engineer, a project manager, a security consultant, a production artist, and a homemaker.

Now, on to my story…

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Purging Inactive Computer Accounts January 14, 2010

Posted by General Zod in Microsoft, Storytime, Tech.
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Here’s a story from one of my former jobs.

One day, my supervisor (Rudy) had received word from one of our nosier junior administrators (Brad) that… “Active Directory was loaded down with tons of useless computer accounts!”  I hadn’t been told this directly, but Brad sat in the cube right next to mine… and he mumbles what he’s typing to himself.  (Usually that’s a rather annoying trait, but I’d found it useful on this day.)

I wasn’t 100% sure of where he was looking to go with it, but knowing Brad as I did… I suspected that he was looking to make points with our supervisor at my expense.  I got the immediate impression that he wanted to demonstrate how he was more efficient and paid more attention to detail than I did.  This was a foolish act on Brad’s part.

It wasn’t foolish because he was “going up against me”… after all, we’re not in high school anymore.  It was foolish because he knew that I had Rudy’s ear… the two of us chatted casually about lots of things.  Had Brad brought the issue to me, then we could have fixed it together… and then I would have praised Brad’s “attention to detail” to Rudy.  Instead, Brad wanted to get out the rulers and have a measuring contest.

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VMware VirtualCenter Server service won’t Start November 24, 2009

Posted by General Zod in Storytime, Tech, VMware.
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Yesterday afternoon, I was minding my own business and working through a CBT, when I noticed that my personal VMware Infrastructure Client was suddenly disconnected.  This is nothing new as (for some unknown reason I have yet to fathom) the VMware VirtualCenter Server service on my VCenter server will crash about once a month.  It’s not too big of a deal since it usually starts right up again and all’s right with the world… except for yesterday.

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How to Build a Monthly Budget November 23, 2009

Posted by General Zod in Advice, Money, Storytime.
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Many years ago, when I was still in college, I decided to assert my independence.  I moved out of my parent’s house and started living on my own dime.  I was confident that knowing how to balance my checkbook was sufficient wisdom for knowing how to manage my finances.  Unfortunately, I had no idea how little I actually knew.  Without really meaning to, I managed to sink myself deep into 5-digits of credit card debt.

My bank balance was close to nil.  My rent was due.  My bills were piling up.  Collection agencies were calling regularly.  My electric was turned off a couple times.  And the contents of my refrigerator consisted of mustard and baking soda.

Real life was smacking me in the face.  I had to do something quickly or go home to Mom and Dad with my tail between my legs.  Not that I have something against my parents, but I was not about to admit defeat or beg for help.  (The men folk in my family tend to carry around a lot of pride.)  I had to do something fast.  I had to teach myself how to budget.

It saved me.

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Why I don’t like Job Headhunters November 13, 2009

Posted by General Zod in Storytime.
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I’m sure that there are some job headhunters who try to make a good effort to find work for the unemployed, but that has never been my experience.  I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent and talented Systems Engineer with experience in many other aspects of the IT world (network administration, desktop support, project management… the whole gambit), so I tend to consider myself to be a good catch.  I would never presume to call myself “great” or an “expert”… but I like to think of myself as being “worth the money”.  Over the span of the last 20 years (yup… I’m nearing that mid-life crisis with the speed of Barry Allen), I’ve only had two periods in my life where I was unemployed long enough to consider resorting to a headhunter.

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