Monday, July 27, 2015

So, What did you do this summer?

So,  There I was....*  In a meeting with the Technology Director brought about by a question I'd made in passing a week or so before.  "So, what are we going to be doing this summer, Boss?"  Summertime, in IT in a K-12 School District is when we finally get to do the proactive things that really need to be done vs the reactive things that sprout up when the phone rings.

Proactive things = prevent the destruction of the universe and the extinguishing of all life therein.

Reactive things="my printer jammed and printing my document two classrooms down is inconvenient."  ("My driving across town to pull the stuck paper our of your printer is inconvenient too, Missy!  Deal with it!" not being an acceptable response)

Summer time allows us mostly uninterrupted time to redo databases, update servers, rewire network connections, etc.  All intensely fascinating, deeply enriching exercises that nerdy IT types alone appreciate, until they stop working at which point all concerned learn to appreciate.

Anyhoo (to use an anti-digression term from Sarge),  There I am in this meeting.  "So,  what are we going to be doing this Summer, Boss?" is hanging out there in the breeze followed by a pregnant pause.

"Well...Funny you should ask."

Uh-Oh,  "Funny you should ask" is always followed by something that is not funny and, in retrospect, I wish I had never asked about.

"We're going to forklift the entire network."

Huh?  Forklift and network are not generally used in the same sentence.

"Sounds fun.  What's the scope of the operation?"  Being totally clueless on the forklift terminology, I fall back on known technical geek speak hoping to hear terms I'm able to understand.

"We're going to replace every computer, thin client, server, and switch in the network and bring it back up before the Teachers return in August."

"Holy S**t!"   (Yes, that slipped out.)  We going to have some help?"

"We will have a few contractors to help with the programming the switches, but primarily it'll be us.  We'll hire some hourly types to help with the lifting and carrying, but the setup is going to be your team."

So,  That is what I've been doing since June 4th.

620 client computers removed and replaced.  200 Thin Clients (terminals where the operating system runs on a server and is displayed on a monitor) removed and replaced.  50 servers replaced or updated.

This in addition to the normal recocking activities needed to put to bed one school year and prep for the next.

I'm tired.

Mrs. Juvat, being the wonderful person she is, decided the clan needed down time. So it is decreed, so it shall be! The beautiful daughter will interrupt her job search in the Peoples Republic of Austin and join us.  Little Juvat and his Bride will provide intricate knowledge of the highways and byways of San Antonio, since that is where Mrs. Juvat has decreed the weekender will take place.  The Forces are ready.

We (she) have made reservations at the Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch Residence Club.  I've gathered that this is part Time Share and part overflow for the Hyatt Hill Country Resort next door.  We're not in the market for a Time Share, but the room was VERY nice.  

After a braising (102 degrees, 73% humidity) commute in traffic, we're settled in and head to the pool for a dip.  Then Dinner and we're ready to hit the rack.  Up the next morning and over to the Resort, where we find a place by the Lazy River.  Just enough sun to work on a little color, plenty of shade to keep from over doing it and nice cool water to maintain body temperature.  Oh, did I mention they had minions who when summoned would bring adult recreational beverages?
Minions, being given the Ops Brief for the mission
Minions departing on a raid on a purveyor of Adult Recreational Beverages

Their beloved leader relaxing and finally getting a chance to read Old NFO's new book  The Grey Man: Changes
A most excellent read!

After a relaxing day, we head back to the room and get cleaned up for the main event.  Little Juvat and his Bride had given me 5 tickets to see Patriot's Tour with Marcus Luttrell among others.  Let me tell you in no uncertain terms.  Go. See. This.  Program!

Dinner at Zocca on the Riverwalk was excellent
A fairly steamy. if beautiful walk to the TheaTah!

Wow!  Held at the Empire Theater in Downtown San Antonio, it was awesome.  The theater seats 2264.  We checked ticket availability before the show started.  There was one ticket unsold.  The thing that got me was the wide range of age groups that were there.  A lot of old folks, but also a bunch of families with kids in their early teens.  The couple that sat next to me were in their very early 20s.

The show got going when Mary Sarah came on stage for the National Anthem.  Standing in front of a Patton sized flag, she began singing and she really hadn't gotten started when the whole audience was singing.  I realized at that point, this was going to be a great evening.

She's done (and did a fantastic job), and the first speaker came on.  Capt. Chad Fleming, a Ranger with 6 deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.  He walks on stage in a pair of shorts and one can see immediately that his life is different than most.  On his first deployment, he received injuries to his left leg which eventually required amputation.

He described the events without remorse or self-pity rather with humor (the story of the saving of his $40 Under Armor underwear was hilarious) and grace.  I was impressed!  He served as the MC for the first half of the show.

Capt. Fleming then introduced Taya Kyle.  She also told her story about her life after her husband, Chris Kyle, was murdered and what it took for her to pull herself up and carry on.  Not a dry eye in the house when she almost lost it in the middle. 

Finally, he introduced Pete Scobell, a Navy Seal.  Mr Scobell sang a few songs for which the lyrics reflected the releasing of a lot of internal pain.  Given that he had been a Seal for 19 years, that should not be hard to believe.  The music was very good and it doesn't surprise me that he and his band are touring with a Major Headliner, in this case, Wynonna Judd.

After the intermission.  Capt. Fleming introduced David Goggins, also a Navy Seal.  Mr. Goggins, had a different story about his overcoming difficulty.  He has been a USAF Tactical Controller, an Army Ranger, and a Seal (with two Hell Weeks).  He decided, after the Lone Survivor episode, to try and raise money for the families of those killed by competing in the most extreme physical endurance competitions in the world.  OK, this guy is officially a bad a$$ machine.  Running 200+ miles in 48 hours?  4000+ pullups in 24 hours?  125+ miles in 24 hours in Death Valley, in the Summer?  YGBSM!

Then he tells us he did all that with a silver dollar sized hole in his heart!  

Mr. Goggins concludes his portion of the program by introducing Marcus Luttrell.  I confess, I have not read his book nor seen the movie, and I'm glad I hadn't.  I had a general understanding of the circumstances, but hearing him tell it first hand was awe inspiring.

I've always had a strong belief in the power of the mind to overcome physical circumstances, these folks did an outstanding job in showing me how much more the mind can accomplish than I ever imagined.

Go. See. The. Program.



  1. Really cool stuff. Did you get to The Alamo?

    1. Thanks,
      Didn't go to the Alamo this time. Like most good Texans, I've been there several times. Had to smack my nephew from Wisconsin the last time I went. He was reluctant to remove his hat upon entry. I didn't want one of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas to light into him. I'm pretty sure had they been there in 1836 the outcome of the Battle would have been different. :-)

  2. Per my youngest son, the Riverwalk was the coolest part of his medic training at Ft Sam Houston when he was off duty.

    1. It's very nice, lots of good bars and good to excellent restaurants. However, at least during the summer, cool isn't an adjective I'd normally use in describing the riverwalk.

  3. I have found in life no matter how bad you think you have it you can find others who have had it worse - and overcame

    Sounds like quite a show

    1. Mr. Luttrell said something very similar. He related a time during Hell Week when he was thinking to himself, Man this is bad don't know if I can take much more of this. Then he looks at the guy beside him and thinks, but it's not as bad as it is for him!
      Yeah, it was a very uplifting show. Need to see it if you get the opportunity.

    2. Worked with a SEAL son of a SEAL from Vietnam era. His son went to BUDS twice. He passed every single aspect of the event but the drownproofing and thus could not be a SEAL but the man went through Hell Week twice because they let him roll back and try the full course again. That counts for a lot. We made one visit to San Antonio and we really enjoyed the River Walk. We took in the Alamo and the other missions. In the worlds of might have been, I was spared greatly when I refused to move to Texas. Who was it who said, "if I owned Texas and Hell I'd rent out Texas and live in Hell?" That was a being that had lived in Texas and I done that already at Fort Bliss.

    3. Trying it twice DOES count for a lot!

      Google seems to have difficulty in determining who said that, Mark Twain or Phil Sheridan. With the heavy rain in late May (much needed, but with tragic consequences) it seems the humidity is much higher this year than most. That makes for a much more miserable experience.

  4. I guess I'll have to do a "summer vacation" post. Good stuff!

    1. Summer Vacation....yes. Summer surgery.....Not so much. Unless pretty nurses are in the post.

  5. Thanks Juvat! I'll have to try to get to the one in simi valley in Sept.

  6. Glad you got a break, and hopefully the book didn't put you to sleep. I need to go see that show.

    1. In reverse order. yes, you do. It's an excellent book and I've got friends out here that model your character's traits. I enjoyed every word of it and can't wait for the next in the series.


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