Saturday, August 24, 2019

The aftermath of the test

As I said in my last blog, this week has been a zoo. Since I did get some other med changes, I have noticed a better performance in my glucose levels (Win #1).

The conference call for this week did not really give any new direction in my particular case, but I did get the feeling that there might be hope for me to not have to worry. I just wish that they would have manager input into who gets extended offers.

I've decided that I'm going to do my weekly diabetes management and some development on extending Tidepool ( on Mixer. I need to have something that I can use to keep myself honest and don't let my treatment get too long in the tooth before I make changes.

Working this weekend, so I'll be playing around with Elasticsearch, Kibana, and some other solutions.

And finally, failed my retest on the Linux+/LPIC 1 test. Got a 490/800..... need 500 to pass. Best score I've gotten, though.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

My streaming life

This week has been a roller coaster of a week for me. Let's see....

  • Work drama
  • One of my teammates started her new job
  • Conference call that basically states half of us won't get job offers from the new owner
  • School shopping for my kids
  • My wife is about 2 months from her layoff, but isn't being told when it will happen
  • Bariatric doctor wants me on a new injectable that comes from a family of drugs that hasn't worked for me in the past. Nothing even mentioned about surgery.
  • Drove almost 100 miles to see where many companies offices were in Utah County
All I know is that I'm so burned out that I haven't been keeping up on my glucose well at all. My walking during my lunch break has been replaced with LinkedIn searches and studying for my Linux+ exam (part 1 is Friday).

I'm sorry to the people that I don't talk to: my cousins, aunts, and uncles that live within 20 miles of me, my content creator friends and role models (Strwb, Phlog, Luna, Tink, RocketBear, Rooster, TyLu, and a whole bunch more I can't think of right now -- all of these people are on Mixer, BTW)

I have been making sure I keep my family informed on what's going on, and I'm working on more communication with my wife, Tammy, my coworkers, and my customers.

Over the next two weeks, I am working on training my coworkers and getting training for a new product myself. I think the best way for me to learn is to teach. I would like to stream some IT stuff on Mixer, and I know it will not be a great draw. I need to do this.

Tuesday night... I'm going to study for my Linux+/LPIC-1 exam with all of Mixer. No fancy bumpers, no fancy graphics.... just me, a bunch of servers, and some books. I have a feeling that if I do this right, I can get others to get interested in security and programming. Let's see if I have the strength on Tuesday night.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

WIP Wednesday - July 17th

For those that don't know, #wipwednesday has become a thing in the online art and tabletop gaming community. I'm going to include some pics of my Warhammer models in progress, but I wanted to take more time for myself.

First, I like to keep track of a lot of medical data and notes/emotions to track and try to predict when things might affect my diabetes or my depression. I love the Tidepool app, and I would like to set up a Tidepool server in my living room so I can add inputs from Google Fit, MiFit, and Omron to get my exercise and heart rate data in one area. I hope I can get some help from my developer friends to start me out right.

Second, I'm going to be the lead supporting some new products involving collecting and normalizing data across multiple products. I love making things talk to one another, so this is right up my alley. I need to get my training and learning set up so I don't mess up.

Third, I think it's time for me to back out of Scouts for a while. David will be starting school and marching band, and that will take time away from him. All I know is that starting the week off with a 16-17 hour day makes me hurt by Wednesday.

And finally, I'm going to pivot my 3D printing into making things for dioramas and tabletop games. I would still like to be able to fire up a Mixer stream every once in a while, and I would love some help from my streaming friends to rebuild my channel, but I don't want to make it my job. I want to make sure that I use this to document my creative process for others to build on, and to review myself.

That's it for this week. I'll be working on building some Orks for a Warhammer 40K Kill Team and get some cheap body/GoPro clones to record Battle Reports.  If anyone would be willing to help me with art for my videos/streams (paid or unpaid, I'm willing to talk to anyone), let me know.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

I'm tired, but happy. Here's why...

The last two weeks have been an amazing one for my physical health. My blood glucose is actually under control. I have only binge ate once in the same time frame. I'm loving the behavior from my manager at my new job. The culture there is that if you do you job well, they will let you follow your passion.

Then why am I so tired? I think it is because that I still don't have a home of my own yet. My uncle Bob is graciously allowing me to stay at his home until I get a place or Memorial Day (whichever comes first). I still just have anxiety about not being my own place, and it feels weird.

I'm also trying to learn a lot more about my job and learning how to do it well. Problem there is there still is another team that is doing the work of mine, as well, and there isn't enough to go around. They know 4 products; my team only knows one right now.

The hardest part is my family. I miss my wife and kids, but my oldest has gotten to the point that he's going to run afoul of the law and I'm going to have to let him get caught up in the system. It's hard to do things like find a house, get utilities set up, and schedule a move when the partner in crime is over 800 miles away.

This week was fair to good, on a OMG -- bad -- fair -- good --great scale.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you.

It's been almost a year since this blog has seen a new post, so it's time.

I've been in Utah for two months now, and I feel like the opportunities are wide open. There are many advantages to changing your location. Even more than I thought.

My diabetes has been under better control since I have been here. Can't believe that changing my location dropped my avg glucose by almost 100 mg/dL.

My new employer is fantastic. The culture here is the one I have always wanted: giving enough to let you do the work.

Monday, May 1, 2017

I'm free! Bye, AT&T!

When AT&T finally capitulated and started offering unlimited plans without the DirecTV requirement, lots of people got really excited, especially reps at AT&T. My thought was, “Okay, phones don’t mean anything to AT&T anymore.”

I was right.

In the last few months, the business changed again. AT&T is now focusing (read: forcing) reps to push DirecTV satellite service for every customer that walks in the door. As I started receiving coaching results about this (and I was the only one in my store getting those – another issue in itself), I got taken back to a time when the movie theater ruled.

AT&T, Comcast, Charter, and Verizon are all trying to bring back the era of vertical integration, to the point the studio system is no longer the puppet master, but the owners of the pipes getting the entertainment are controlling the strings. These four companies own the content, the pipelines, and the end user experience. 

This has happened before in entertainment. The movie studios controlled every aspect of movies, from actor contracts, owning the theaters and locking out theaters not friendly to the studios wishes. In 1948, the US successfully won an antitrust suit against Paramount, and broke up the way films were made, distributed, and exhibited. The four telecoms listed here (mostly Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon) are trying to consolidate their power in those three areas again.

I totally understand why AT&T wants to pursue this strategy, but I feel that the purchase of Time Warner will consolidate too much power in the hands of the telecoms. I cannot be a part of that, especially since I live in an area of the country that is usually ahead of the curve.

Basically, I decided to leave because my store was losing traffic to cell phones becoming commodity. AT&T’s business model is moving from controlling the retail experience to outsourcing it to third parties (National Retailers and Authorized Dealers – those guys that look like corporate AT&T stores, but are not). AT&T has gutted its internal positions for indirect control and outsourced it. New stores being built are not corporate (Lincoln appears to be getting two dealer locations) which will gut traffic even further for my former coworkers.

The CWA knows this is happening, so they are doing what they can to make it fair for the front line that is actually AT&T employees. The company wants to cut costs at every level, it’s now a priority for this year that is promoted internally to employees as a good thing!

With a manager that is targeting me specifically, no opportunity to move, and a dwindling retail base, it was time for me to move on, even without an exit strategy that I craved. My wife is still employed, plus I will have some of my pension to cash out, 401(k) will get rolled over. I’m going to take the time to figure out who I am work-wise.

Several of my former work colleagues have said that the change underway is not good, and I agreed. AT&T needs to stop thinking about becoming Hollywood and become a better telecom. If not, they will literally become like any other utility.