Saturday: Sabbath or Siesta?

June 19, 2010

Faith, Family

It’s been a rather peculiar week.  It’s been full of work and “vacation” time: work at home, work from home, worry for those not at home and all sorts of stuff in between.

I started the week by burying myself in a few matters at the office.  While I’m between a couple of large projects, I thought that I’d catch up on a few miscellaneous matters that have fallen between the cracks.  Specifically, I was asked by the messaging team to pull together some better application monitoring protocols for our instant messaging system.  Two years ago, I deployed a Jabber-based system for about three thousand folks across the country.  And we’ve done some pretty rudimentary monit0ring of the system since then.  Currently we measure the basics: processor utilization, hard drive utilization and task monitoring.  But we’ve always needed some real application monitoring.

So last Friday, I decided to invest some time in some Perl-based app monitoring.  Lo and behold, I was able to find some Perl libraries that were perfect for what I needed.  Specifically, I found the Net::XMPP libraries over at Sourceforge.  These libraries  were perfect for developing a connection, session and messaging monitoring framework I desired.

The basic programming took about two hours.  Of course, getting this stuff put into production took the most time as I needed to get the simple script past the relevant guard dogs in the process.  But by the middle of the week, I had everything put in place and we are now using some fairly nice system monitoring for the Jabber application.  And it was so very nice to take something off the list of “things o do” that I had previously deferred.

By the middle of the week, it was time to switch gears.  Dana was heading off to SoCal to talk to a collegiate basketball coach about completing her basketball career at yet another school.  But someone needed to watch Jayden (my grand-daughter).  So it was my turn in the barrel.  I took off the last few days of the week so that I could watch Jayden while Dana was out of town.

And I had a wonderful time with her.  We talked and learned animal noises together.  And she truly terrorized our meek and unsuspecting dogs.  While I was quite tired by the end of the week, I can honestly say that I had a a lot of fun.

But no day was complete without some investment in technology.  On Wednesday, I got a chance to  finally upgrade my Kindle to the latest firmware: i.e., v2.5.2.  And I really like all of the new features.  I was so excited to tell Cindy about all the cool new social media capabilities.  But while I was probably boring her beyond belief, she suddenly lit up with excitement.  Indeed, she was like a kid pulling on my arm.  She let me know that she had screwed up my Kindle order last December.  And as a result, she had an extra Kindle that she had forgotten to send back to Amazon.  So she wanted me to configure it for her own use.

So Thursday was dedicated to Jayden… and to preparing Cindy’s Kindle for its first use.  Strangely enough, she has a global Kindle while I have a US Kindle.  So I had to do a little different firmware prep.  But it was all fairly simple.  Within a few hours, she was all configured and ready to go.  So far, she loves the device.  And I wouldn’t ever consider trading one of these for the vaunted Apple iPad.  The Kindle is a purpose-built machine that is a fantastic e-book reader.  I’d much prefer to have this device than any tablet PC that can’t make up its mind what it wants to be when it grows up.

By the end of Thursday, I had gotten my tech fix and I had given my wife a new toy to play with.  Success was mine; muhaha.

And Friday found me doing a few more tech projects.  But on this day, it was a few things I didn’t expect.  I had seen all the hoopla regarding the latest WordPress release.  And while I really don’t currently need to run in MU mode, I’m so very glad that this upgrade was finally available.  I did a little research and then flung myself headlong into the upgrade.  [FYI, it’s not much of a fling/plunge as the upgrade is tremendously simple to implement.  And it is well worth the few minutes it will take to get it done.  Btw, I’m typing this post into the new v3 WordPress site I run at home.]

But after that brief technical respite, it was time to re-focus on family matters.  My eldest daughter and her fiancé came by for the day/evening.  And my two younger daughters were coming home: one from the west coast and one from the east coast.

So now it’s Saturday.  And it is the Sabbath for many people.   Cindy is off at one of her classes for grad school.  Dana and Jayden are in Pittsburg, Kansas.  Meredith and Josh are throwing a going away potluck – and it looks like it’s going to rain.  Adam is somewhere in Oklahoma – feeding his inner caveman.  But even amidst this daspora, I’m not alone.  I’m here with Bailey and the dogs.

I spent a few minutes this morning upgrading my router’s firmware.  And I’ve even been introduced to Grooveshark.  I am so excited that there are still so many things to learn.  Everyday, there are new and fascinating things that can tickle my technical fancy.  And Bailey showed me Grooveshark this morning.  It’s a very cool music streaming and sharing site that is really trying to honor the intellectual property concerns of musicians and the music industry.  So I started listening to some cool new worship music.

So it’s a rainy Saturday morning. At this very moment, I’m listening to Keith Green, I’m typing this post and I’m talking with my youngest daughter Bailey.  She is an amazing young woman.  She is so intensely focused on the most important love affair of her life; she is investing her time and her energy into developing her love affair with her Savior.  Right now, it is the most important thing to her.  And that is so appropriate.  In the words of Keith Green, my daughter is “bananas for Jesus.”  She reminds me of the kind of excitement that I had when finished my second year at college.  I pray that I can truly be challenged by the headlong intensity that she now demonstrates.

So as Saturday continues its headlong plunge towards Sunday, I’m finally starting to slow down myself.  It’s been so busy this week.  Dare I think of a siesta?  Lord, please touch every member of my family this day.  And please help me to be the kind of husband and the kind of father that my family needs.  And please help me to be the kind of man that you have called me to be.




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