June 29, 2004

First of all, she's OK.....

We left off with Helena and Wendy driving the Ford Escort 1800 miles in a four day trip down I-40, arriving on the evening of the 22nd. Wendy got on a plane about noon on the 25th and flew home (with a 40 minute delay in Memphis that caused her to miss her connection in Phoenix so she hopped a flight 3 hours later only fly for one hour and sit on the tarmack at LAX for an hour while they waited for an open gate to taxi up to -- but that's another story)

The 26th Wendy and Amanda were supposed to go to a Blank182 (or something) concert but they didn't make it, as didn't a bunch of others and the tickets will be refunded. I also got my watch.

The 27th we got a call from Helena. She has abrasions from the air bag on her arms, but is otherwise OK. The pretty little Escort is a different matter. She ran into the tire of one of these big-wheeled 4x4 truck things:

All she did to the truck was shred his tire -- didn't even hit the rim of the wheel. In the same yard as David is another Escort, a wagon, the same green, with a dead drive train and a good body. They can buy it for $200 and make one good car out of the pair.

Posted by at 08:14 PM | Comments (1)

June 26, 2004

Happy Father's Day

Wendy's Home! Wendy's Home!!

Since she was gone for Father's Day she gave me my present this morning. Pictured is my antique Omega Constellation self-winding wrist watch. Originally given to me by my aunt, in 1972 give or take a year. I like paractical over looks, so I replaced the watchband with a Twist-o-flex -- does NOT grab wrist hairs. Sometime in the 80's the second hand fell off it's stem and reattled around under the crystal for a few years. Didn't bother me -- I don't care for seconds and am not really fond of minutes. Somewhere around the correct hours is good enough, and I really do need the day of the week and day of the month. But then the loose second hand jammed the minute hand and it stopped and I set it aside.

Wendy took it in to the local watchsmith and he cleaned and lubed and adjusted and made it as good as new, 'cept for the missing second hand which I don't need anyhow.

Self-winding means never having to replace a battery.

Posted by at 02:06 PM | Comments (1)

June 23, 2004

Last Friday

Back on June 3rd I posted the picture on the left. Like I said, stepping over the ISDN power supplies for a few months was better than having the Avaya equipment & my patch jacks around a corner from the rest of the backborad. Last week, the Avaya tech came in and terminated his cables on his boards which he mounted where I wanted them.

Green boards are for incoming cables. Blue boards are for floor cables. (similar to the underground cable=green and aerial cable=blue that is used outside in the B-Boxes.) The Avaya gets cabled to purple boards -- except the ones Avaya provided are more of a lilac. He used split 50's, his cables on the left, my cross-connects will go on the right, and bridge clips will provide the Demarq. I gave him room for double what is going in, in case they try cramming twice as many reps into the same floor space.

Anyhow.... last week I managed to get my patch jacks mounted and cables run to the backboard. I only had room for half blues, but will have more room once the ISDN is removed. My blocks are M66-25's with a cable side and triple lugs on the cross-connect side -- one to cross-connect to the Avaya equipment and the others to cross-connect to any future monitoring equipment (the Verint if they keep it or something similar.)

This should have been posted last Friday, but I was actually working at work and when I got home I found Squirt was visiting. Given a choice between writing about work and playing with and writing about Squirt will have Squirt winning every time.

Posted by at 06:52 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2004

End of Day 4, and trip

No time zone change today, so the girls get the full 24 hours. Which they used to push 545 miles to their final destination of Jonesboro, Arkansas. Wendy and Helena will have two more days together before Wendy flies back (on Friday.)

Posted by at 10:25 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2004

End of Day 3

Another 23 hour day -- which was a pity as they arrived in Armarillo about 4:30 and the QuarterHorse Museum closes at 5. So instead of spending a couple of hours visiting they pushed on to Weatherford, OK and made it a 475 mile day.

Posted by at 07:37 PM | Comments (2)

June 20, 2004

End of Day Two

Day two the girls only managed to drive about 350 miles. They got distracted. I-40 passes the Meteor Crater and the Petrified Forest. Neither Wendy nor Helena had seen either and it would have been a shame to simply drive past. Reaching Albuquerque was a push, but they did it. Crosstime -- only had a 23 hour day.

Wendy said Flagstaff is a beautiful, but Albuquerque makes South Central L.A. look good.

Posted by at 10:04 PM | Comments (1)

June 19, 2004

End of Day One

Wendy checked in, from Williams, AZ. 440 miles. She said the car is running just fine, but that it definitely feels the weight on the hills. Since they were passing where we've been many times, there was nothing to do but drive.

Posted by at 08:58 PM | Comments (0)

Day One

Group Hug!! -- Amanda, Helena, Mike, Wendy, Teresa, Cory being held and Pepper not siting.

Our last for a while. Helena is leaving home to start a new life in Arkansas. Why Arkansas -- the same reason children have been leaving home since the dawn of time: that's where Bob is.

Not wanting to leave a packed car overnight on the street, I got up at 6am to pack Helena's 25" TV, DVD, mid-tower computer, 14" monitor, five boxes of stuff, a boom box, a 4" refractor telescope on a tripod, an 18" off-road R/C car, and a few odds and ends tucked into spaces. For the road there is a $50 Sears Companion Mechanics tool kit, four quarts of oil, three quarts transmission fluid, a case of sodas, a case of bottled water, a Chilton's manual, Windex, paper towels, and two rolls of Northern Toilet Paper (cannot be sure of finding the soft stuff on the road.)

Wendy is going with Helena as company and to help with driving. She'll be flying back. They have their cell phones, but I'm on a regional plan so they will be mostly off to avoid roaming charges. A pack of AT&T calling cards will be used to report back as they travel.

The car is the 1994 Ford Escort that my brother gave to Helena just over two years ago. It had over 100,000 miles and he wanted a new car. It now has nearly 130,000 miles, new tires, recently cleaned engine which checked out A-OK.

With one last wistful look, Wendy drives off.

I miss her.

Posted by at 10:49 AM | Comments (1)

June 18, 2004

"Old" friend

Last night Shannon brought Squirt back for a visit. Squirt is the puppy we babysat for a couple of weeks, from March 30th through April 4th to April 11th.

He's grown quite a bit and can negotiate steps without a ramp. Also runs insteads of waddles. Still bites, can now reach ankles but prefers throats.

Posted by at 08:40 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2004

ATM circuits are up

A couple of days ago the Fiber People finished running the fiber connections. Yesterday the Fiber people turned up the OC3 and pronouced it 'hot to trot.'

This morning, on the Cisco Catalyst 8540's, I plugged in the fibers to the Avaya (drop side) and the coax cable to the fiber rack (line side.) Lit up some pretty green lights. (except for my transmit the line side.)

Ran into an interesting glitch....

The ethernet control channel is in and up, I can ping it, I can telenet into it. And I cannot, or rather should not, get past the password authentication.

On the A switch I telenet in, type in the default cisco/cisco, and get rejected. Which is as it should be. To verify that I am talking to the A switch I pull the ethernet connection and type cisco/cisco again, and get ignored -- no echo of my typing. Which is as it should be given that I have broken the connection. But.... I then plug the ethernet back in and hit return and I am into the router, past the log-in! This is wrong -- I am not supposed to be able to get in.

While I am there I verify that ATM 0,0,0 is administratively down -- which is why I have no light on the line transmit. I verify that ATM 1,0,0 is up and up and is passing data between the router and the Avaya on the drop side. There is also an ATM 0,0,100 which I am confused as to what it might be.

I log off, try getting back in, and I am rejected -- even after the pull the ethernet trick. Don't understand.

Posted by at 11:14 AM | Comments (1)

June 12, 2004

Blue Magic

Helena mentioned that her headlights seemed a little dim -- which is no big deal in L.A. since the headlights are not for lighting up the road. Where she's going is a different matter.

A decade of California sun an smog left the plastic lenses a bit cloudy -- sort of like tryine to shine a beam of light through a frosted window -- some makes it but there is a lot of scatter.

So I stop by te local Auto Zone and picked up some Blue Magic plastic cleaner. Five minutes later (which included getting a stool to sit on) the headlights are transformed from <-- that to this -->.

Posted by at 01:24 PM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2004

Defensive Driving

Joe Baca retired last year. They have taken his and the other spare vehicles away. They have not backfilled the crew so we now have a few extra parking spaces. Until they kick me out I'm claiming squatter's rights to Joe's parking space for my personal vehicle. Did I mention that on Tuesday I went to SBC/PacBell Defensive Driving Refresher. Again. Actually it is good to verify that we are not slipping in our defensive driving habits.

The Van is my company vehicle, in which I practice defensive driving. The rod is Wendy's Camaro in which I also practice defensive driving.

Quote of the Week

"The best defense is a good offense.

- Vince Lombardi

Posted by at 11:44 AM | Comments (1)

June 07, 2004

Fiber Rack is Hot

The tech from Hi Caps is in today. He plugged the fiber rack in and it has pretty lights on it. Also has fibers connecting to the fiber patch panel and 56 pairs of copper to a customer demarq on the wall for upto 28 T1 circuits.

Meanwhile, upstairs, the Avaya Tech has plugged in his boxes, mounted his backboards, ran and punched down the cables that will eventually connect to the 'phones on the reps' desks. (Picture after I get my backboard up.)

Posted by at 12:36 PM | Comments (1)

June 03, 2004


The Electricians are done. There's a new 30-amp twist-lock receptacle next to the Hi-Cap rack downstairs and upstairs the Avaya equipment is bolted down solidly to the concrete floor below the raised flooring.

Meanwhile I was festering over the placement of the backboards. The east wall holds the house cables and the floor cables and the cables to and from the ISDN NIUs. But it was full. I considered placing the boards on the south wall, seeing as there is no immediate plan to run any jumpers to the house or floor cables. but..... things change. I want to be flexible.

Sitting, staring at the backboard. The power supplies for the ISDN sets are mounted on the east wall. The ISDN will be retired once the Avaya is on-line. The power supplies will be sht down and removed, along with their cross-connect blocks and the blocks with the cables to and from the NIUs.

So I clip the wrap-ties holding the wires to the wall and gently (as in it is working equpiment) two of the power supplies to the floor. Clearing space on the east wall for two full purple boards for the Avaya people, and a pair of half blue boards for my cables to the patch jacks that will be connected to the cat-5 floor cables.

Posted by at 10:57 PM | Comments (1)

June 02, 2004

8540's Alive

Busy.... The Electricians bolted down the Avaya boxes and started on running my 30 amp circuit for the Hi-Cap rack. Naturally I have to clear everything before they do anything.

Meanwhile I didn't like the way UPS were mounted so I raised the 8540's to give me more room at the bottom of the rack. Looks much better. It's difficult to take a decent picture. I want the glowing LEDs so I have to cancel the flash, but then the shutter is slow so I blur if not braced against a cabinet or wall. And there is this wall between the equipment and where I would like to place my camera so I cannot step back and avoid keystoning.

Posted by at 04:35 PM | Comments (1)