Life’s Little Joys

We can’t always travel the globe when we like.  I don’t have the money for one, and secondly I have no time.  Personally I love to hike.  I don’t have much time for hiking either.  So I try to grab little moments of joy when I can.  Like the field behind the hospital where I work.

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Besides the verdant green fields next to the dirt farm road there is a low drainage canal full of trees and rabbits.  There is also the San Joaquin County Jail on the far side of the field to keep me company as I walk.  Under the trees there is a lush growth of miner’s lettuce.

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There is also an abandoned bridge here and paved roads that lead nowhere and are slowly disintegrating.  It’s a really interesting place to walk.  And peaceful.  And many days, that’s just what I need.

A Day In The Life

I’m a network administrator for a local county hospital.  Every once in a while I like to video some of the glamorous things I get to do as a network administrator.  Most of the time I’m proving that there is nothing wrong with the network.  That is 99% of what I do.  But every once in a while “the network” actually breaks.  This is a short video of me fixing “the network.”

One Year Ago Today

I have a bad habit of hanging on to calendars so I can see what I did over the past few years.  I was looking at last year’s calendar tonight.  Last January my son had just moved out to the first of three group homes he lived in.  My wife was just getting over the flu.  I was still planning to live full-time on the road and finding a way to get my employer to buy off on my hair-brained scheme.

The plan was to travel from data center to data center, hitting all our properties on the way to or from.  I had meticulously planned routes to RV parks and campgrounds closest to our business properties.  My job at the time was pretty much location independent.  However, management being what it is, they always wanted us to be somewhere so it’s pretty unlikely they would have bought off on this plan.  I was still blissfully unaware of the plans management had for us.  I was still driving an hour to our corporate headquarters to plan to bond two core switches together.  Happily, my time with my employer came to an end before I had to do that work.  I was wondering why my boss wasn’t pushing me to move faster on that project.  Now I know why, I would never have been able to complete it before the transition happened.

There’s no moral to this story.  No point really.  Just reminiscing while looking at the calendar.  Well, maybe there is a moral to the story; don’t set your plans in stone, stay flexible and be ready to adapt those plans to what life hands you.  And if you’re so inlined, as I am, never stop having faith that God will work things out for the best for those whom He loves.

Goodbye Sienna, Hello Ram

img_20161119_143059After 18 years of reliable service we decided it was time to put our 1998 Toyota Sienna out to pasture.  I knew that I wanted a Ram 3500 to be our tow vehicle when we eventually start travelling full time.  I also knew that we won’t be able to live that lifestyle for another 7 to 10 years.  There would be no point in having a Ram 3500 as my daily driver for the next 7 years.  But I also knew the Sienna wasn’t going to last another 7 years.  After discussing it with my wife she suggested I get an interim truck.  After searching around a little I finally settled on a bare bones Ram 1500.  This particular truck has storage compartments on either side of the bed, and basic instrumentation.  I went basic so the truck wouldn’t be an attractive target for thieves.

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It’s good to finally have a vehicle that doesn’t sound like it’s about to fall apart, will pass smog, and can tow heavier loads than the minivan could.  I’m even starting to think about a small travel trailer so my wife and I can do some camping.

The Outsourcing Of America

I don’t blame Hillary for this, I blame both political parties.  Both are standing by and allowing this to happen.  People who have worked and trained hard to get and hold their jobs are being forced to train much lower-paid replacements.    I had to go through the same thing.  What’s happening in America is shameful.

Read about it here: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/10/15/exclusive-american-worker-forced-train-foreign-replacement-reveals-how-hillary-clinton-betrayed-him/

On-Call Again

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One of the facets of my last job that I DO NOT miss was being on-call.  Basically on one week out of six I had to live with my phone waiting for someone to call with a network or server problem.  The calls almost always came near midnight or near 4am my time.  It really stank.  What was worse was that I was salaried so did not get paid any overtime for these late nights on the phone.  At least twice a year I would spend an entire weekend on the phone.  Literally.

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One of the joys of leaving that job and starting my new job was not being on-call.  I actually have learned to forget my phone sometimes.  I went to church last week without my phone and didn’t panic once!   That all being said, our CIO announced this week that we would now have to be on-call.  (Booooo!)  But that we would be compensated for being on-call.  (Yaaaayyyy!)

Apparently if a county employee is on call, during the time that they are on-call they get paid 20% of their base hourly rate in addition to their normal pay.  If we actually have to call in and work on something then we get to charge 3 hours of overtime.  Awesome!  This is effectively a 6% raise in my pay.  Yeah, I’ll take it.

Life Is Slowing Down… Sort Of

I haven’t been able to update this blog as much lately because of life.  Firstly, I am really enjoying my new job and the work days seem to fly by.  The phone that has been a constant fixture in my hand for the last 12 years is slowly working itself free.  I actually forgot to bring it with me the other day.  It was awesome.  I’m not on-call any more which is WONDERFUL!  I can work overtime… if I want.  They like network maintenance to be done around 8:30 in the morning after shift changes at the hospital.  No more 2am maintenance windows!  I am loving that!

We are slowly learning to be a family without my son living at home.  It’s taking some adjustment.  But we’re learning to heal from all last Fall and Winter’s shennanigans.  He seems to be adjusting to his new home too.  I actually got to have lunch with him last week when his group home showed up at the hospital cafeteria.

I am flying every week.  I work late on Fridays so I go in late.  I’ll take my PPG out for half hour, maybe 45 minutes and then head into work.  I fly again on Saturday morning.  It’s been pleasant learning a new way to fly.

But other than this there are no earth-shattering happenings, no life-altering revelations, just living a simple and slower life.  Despite the slower pace of life, the days seem to fly by.  But the one constant in our lives has been Christ.  We have definitely felt His presence in each and every day.  And each and every day we are grateful!

And with that I leave you with a few photos of my flights this past week…