Where the Sane Should Fear to Tread

Therapy Sessions on File


Friday, December 31, 2010 at 1155pm
Goodbye 2010, you were an interesting year....
  • Started a new job (after 20 years with the previous company) in January - scared and self-confidence in the toilet. By December... I love it, I know what I'm doing and how to do many more things I didn't know before. My boss is sweet as are my co-workers, and if there is a problem we discuss what it is and how to fix it - that's a change from the previous place. Oh, and there's respect - something sorely lacking all-round at the previous place.

  • Bathroom reno - started in January, finally finished in June. Oh dear god. While some of it was fun (two support posts cut so a medicine cabinet could be fit in, a fan that vented into the insulation) and some was not (removing a finished wall because we measured wrong, redoing some piping after the shower wall was finished).

  • Squirmy's birthday party at Crash Crawley's - I made it through without losing my mind or my control; a personal achievement I didn't think I'd do given the problems I've had with crowds.

  • TheDog received his Championship at the big show in Abbotsoford in October.

  • Dad diagnosed with Colon Cancer - diagnosis came in early October and surgery was the twenty-seventh. And then two months of back-and-forth to the hospital - a suspected cardiac incident, which proved false; a scar tissue blockage; a problem with the ostomy bag and attachment of. As well, dehydration affecting the kidney's and a delay of cancer treatment because of that.

  • Being able to "be there" for my son - working closer to home has allowed me to be more involved in Squirmy's life. Taking him to daycare myself (instead of his cousin) and going to the school to help him put on his Halloween costume sound like simple do-nothing things, but they mean the world to Squirmy.

Happy New Year, everyone. May 2011 be a good year for all! (And may I finally get off my ass and a) update PE and b) clean up the 'puter room!)

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Friday, December 31, 2010 at 1049pm
I'm a masochist, there's no other explanation for the frustration and torture I put myself through for the last three days. This is the first time since Monday I've been able to really use my computer. Why? Because I decided to install Ubuntu 10.04. I'd ask someone to kill me, but it's too late.

The fun started when I tried to boot from the CD/DVD drive. The Bios said this was the first boot device, but the computer bypassed the drive completely. The cabling is hinky in this machine, with only one IDE connector on the mobo. Three CD/DVD drives, one Zip and a secondary HDD (Maxtor)... and only one IDE connector; the primary HDD is a SATA drive (Seagate). After much fussing and pulling cables, stuck the CD/DVD by itself on the IDE connector and left the secondary HDD on the Primary Raid connector (it worked, why mess with it?). Now I could boot with the LiveCD.

Running the installer presented me with a lovely surprise - no SATA drive! Oh it was there, could mount and browse it no problem, but the installer refused to see it. (Side note - the Seagate drive is where the OS drive - root and swap - and the Maxtor is strictly a data drive - home - that holds personal files and specific program configurations) Over to the very-little-help boards and an hour or so of digging around and back into the case to reconfigure things by putting the CD/DVD and Maxtor on the IDE connector together. Back to LiveCD and still no Seagate showing up... back to the boards. Finally found something buried in a post about the drive having a raid command on it and that needs to be removed. Did that and the installer found the drive - hooray!

Or not. The way I set things up - and the way Hardy sees things - the Seagate is SDA (1=root, 2=swap) and the Maxtor is SDB. But Ubuntu Lucid said Maxtor=SDA and Seagate=SDB. Spent a fruitless hour or so trying to find a way to switch the designations before saying "fuck it, install to SDB and see what happens. (Note: in the Bios, the Seagate is set as the primary drive, so regardless of what Lucid said the Seagate is the primary drive). Went through the install, putting the OS on SDB and watching for any selection that would allow me to choose where to install the boot-loader. Installed that on SDB1.

Next thing I learned - the boot-loader needs to be installed on the drive as a whole, not on a partition. Booting up after the installation produced a GRUB Error 15 (file not found)... yeah. As it was midnight and I wanted a working computer, I reinstalled Hardy (with no problems!) and left the rest until I'd had some sleep.

After re-removing the raid crap again, and installing the boot-loader on the drive instead of a partition, Lucid installed and booted fine (but don't think I wasn't making sacrifices to the gods the whole time). The drives still have the weird flipped designations, but it works and the Matrox drive still has all the data.

Program reinstallation and permissions... oh fucking joy. For web-work, there's three programs needed and another seven (used to be six, but GIMP no longer comes with) that are my personal preferences. Linux has an 'administrator' mode a little like WinDoze, so for anything that is not specific to my username, I need to invoke the root-user (admin). Unfortunately, since the web-dev stuff sits on the main drive instead of the data drive, my username has to be added to the allowed access list - think I could remember how to do this, or where to do it from? Needless to say, I now have copious notes on how to set the permissions and in what order to do it. Oh, and the set up for Samba (file sharing prog) have changed so I had to dig those up when it didn't work after carefully following my original notes.

There's just a couple more little tweeks to do, few files to transfer back (thank the gods for the external drive!) and then Ubbie will be back to full operation... until the next LTS release.

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Monday, December 27, 2010 at 626pm
Between Dad's surgery, recovery and re-hospitalizations, work, xmas and a bunch of little things (including a completed lack of motivation) this last month has slipped right by at astonishing speed.

For about four days, Dad couldn't keep anything down - not even plain water. His symptoms were consistent with a blockage and/or twisted intestine (both common in people who've undergone ostomy surgery) but the x-rays showed no food blockage. Docs thought possible scar tissue blockage (full or partial) and that would have to resolve itself (not uncommon and usually does resolve itself in time). But being without fluids for so long damaged his kidneys but they will recover. With this type of ostomy (short bowel kind from what I've been reading) fluid intake is doubly important as most of the body's fluid re-absorption takes place in the lower intestines and those are completely bypassed in Dad. They also had a lot of trouble with the ostomy bag, so much so it necessitated another trip back to the hospital a week later and again he was found to be dehydrated and compromising his kidneys again.

Because of the kidney damage, the cancer treatment(s) have been postponed until the new year to give his kidneys a chance to recover. Also because of the above, Dad has lost about thirty pounds. He's been trying for years to lose some weight and not getting anywhere. Glad he's lost the weight, not happy with the way he's lost it.

For the first time in probably twenty years, M&D didn't come to our place for Xmas breakfast. For one thing, ostomy patients can't eat kippers and for another, Dad wasn't up to leaving the house in case something happened with the ostomy bag. Xmas dinner was at M&D's - Sis and I took the fixings and made it up there. So Xmas at home was much quieter than usual and I didn't have to clean as much this year. This is a good thing since Xmas snuck up and smacked me in the face this year. Between worrying about Dad (and Mom taking on his care), work and hubby working far too much I feel like I've lost two months.

Santa did good by Squirmy this year (not as good as past years, but he did okay) and then SiL and MrFixIt took Squirmy shopping and he came home with more. The 'more' in this case is Zhu-zhu pets - electronic hamsters that talk and move. They are cute, but I'm going to kill them.

TheCat got his usual catnip toys, so he spent most of Xmas morning stoned. And TheDog got a "dinosaur bone" (smoked cow femur) so he thought he'd died and gone to puppy heaven.

Hubby and I weren't supposed to do presents for each other - the new computer he got was 'our' gift - but he got me something anyway. Something little in size, not in price, and shiny. He's worked a shit-ton of overtime (six days a week mid-November to nearly mid-December, then seven days until Xmas eve) so I'm guessing his bank account is looking better than mine for a change.

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