Beth didn’t have school today, but Jonathan did. When I was getting ready for work he was downstairs retching as if to clear out his sinuses, only worse. Yep. He “sold the Buick.” But he thought that it was nothing more than a mucus problem, so I drove him to school (he didn’t feel like it).

He lasted through one class and hurled again. Actually, all I really know is that he hurled. Dunno if he made it through his first class or not. He didn’t feel up to attending his afternoon class, so he emailed his prof and told him/her (dunno which) that he wouldn’t make it. In my opinion, that always has more credibility if it’s done before the class is missed rather than after. He rode the trolley to my building, found an empty office, and tried to take a nap in the chairs. I called Va to see if she’d come and get him.

She was already in town making a grocery run. We figured it would be best if she finished her shopping before she fetched him, as I’m sure he would prefer sleeping in a chair as opposed to cruising around Concord. She finished up in short order and then picked him up. He was napping when I got home.

We have two feet of snow in the forecast. It’s about time. We haven’t had more than that all winter, and here I am with a brand new, hardly used snowblower! Bring it on!

Beth had another bout of emesis last night at about 3:30. I got up and changed her sheets. First I went to the basement to get her previous sheets out of the dryer. I spread them out on the bed, but then noticed that it had gotten wadded up in the dryer, so there was still a damp spot on them. I fetched another set out of the linen closet (that’s where we keep… the linens!) She had gotten most of her blankets this time too, so I swapped them for fresh ones one at a time. In short order, she had a clean bed. I tucked her in, and went to bed myself.

Today, being MLK day, she had no school. So I slept in a little. We had gotten two or three more inches of snow since I had last cleared the driveay, but I figured I could drive through that, and decided to put of clearing it until I got home. I made it to work by 9:00.

Today was much less stressful than the past several days at work have been. As far as I know, we shipped the card we were stressing over. I received a big “Thank you” from the management team. Hooray for me!

At lunch time I decided to fetch the school’s new server from the trunk of my car. I hauled it up to the office, hooked up the DVD drive to it, and tried to see if I could get it to boot from that. I did! I did a “practice” install. If I had had the Linux disc I wanted to put on there, I would not have practiced any at all. It took about two hours of churning and chugging, but I finally had a full OS on there, and everything seemed to be working.

But man… those fans are LOUD. There are nine of them in there. One of them appears to not work, but it is one in a row of five, and I think I can live without it. Two more are in the power supply, and another two are used for cooling the second CPU. Those two were the screamers. I disconnected them and the noise level dropped by a significant margin. So tonight, I ordered two “ultra quiet” fans to replace them. Hopefully they really will be “ultra quiet”. I do know that the ones I’m taking out are “ultra loud” though, so it will be hard to lose on that swap.

This server does have one bizarre component in it that I can’t figure out. It’s a card mounted in a drive bay and connected to the motherboard via a serial port plus a 50-pin ribbon cable. It has a battery. The major chip on it is made by Qlogic, and they make Storage Area Networking stuff. It has a flash chip on it, and the sticker on the flash has a MAC address with the same OUI as the on-board Ethernets. Here a photo:

What IS this?

What IS this?

None of my co-workers were able to come up with convincing theories either. I unplugged it, and everything booted just fine. If I can’t figure out what it is, I will probably remove it. No need to waste electricity on something I’m not going to use.

Tomorrow I will dash into the church when I drop the girls off at school, and I will pick up the K12LTSP Linux disc. That’s the “real” OS I plan to put on there. I’ll kick off the install sometime during the day, and hopefully, everything will be ready when I’m ready to come home.

Since I got to work a bit late, I decided to leave early to make up for it. (heh heh). Actually, I went home at my regular time because I had put in some extra on my darling wife’s birthday. That should count for SOMETHING. When I got home, I cranked up the snowblower and clear the drive in record time. Two or three inches of powdery snow just doesn’t take that long to dispatch. Then I drove the Pizza Hut and picked up our supper.

After eating, I got to work on another robe costume for Camp In. When we selected the cloth for this one, we found that the store didn’t quite have enough for the full robe. So… I’m putting short sleeves on it, and I’m going to run the bias on the sleeves in the opposite direction. This is, after all, a costume, not some clothing anyone will be expected to wear for a full day.

It looks like Beth is asleep now, so I’m going to slip back downstairs and finish that robe now.

I got a call from Va today around lunchtime. She was on the way home from Outdoor School a full day before it was to end. Beth had gotten sick. She barfed all over her sleeping bag, as well as Va’s sleeping bag. And four more times in the car on the way home. Luckily, Va had given her a plastic bag for that, and Beth put it to good use. In other words, there is no mess in the car.

Beth’s teacher was away teaching another group of kids somewhere when Va left, so she left messages for her. This turn of events threw a major monkey wrench into my logistical masterpiece of having Va drop the three students who are in Pathfinders off at our campground on the way by Friday. The camp where Outdoor School is conducted has next to no cell phone service either, so that makes organizing an alternate plan that much more difficult.

I ended up calling the Camp’s land line. The first time I called, it rang about 20 times and no one answered. I tried again an hour later, and someone I actually know answered the phone! Yay! She is a member of our church, and she teaches at an Adventist School near Keene, NH. She would have Camille (aka Mrs Brace, aka Beth’s teacher) call me.

Camille usually drives home by going down I-95, but our campground is on I-93. She did not know the way down I-93, but she was willing to ask someone for directions. So in the end, Camille agreed to deliver the Pathfinders to the exit near the campground, and I will meet her there. She’ll call me as soon as she’s underway and has a cell connection.

The masterpiece has been restored.

I got a package in the mail from my parents today. I recognized the handwriting on the envelope immediately as my Dad’s. It’s funny how I still know his handwriting after all these years. We used to work crosswords together when I was in college, so I guess that’s when I saw so much of it. He makes his E’s more like a capital Greek sigma, only more rounded. To this day, I write my own E’s that way, but (inexplicably) only when I’m working a crossword.

The package has a book in it that I’ve been wanting to read for a while: One Man’s Wilderness, an Alaskan Odyssey. This is the story of Richard Proenneki, and it was featured on PBS once during one of their fundraising campaigns. I found it so compelling then that I actually sat through the interminable begging so I wouldn’t miss any of it. So… thanks for the book Dad!

Tonight I made another six copies of the Pathfinder Camping Honor Checklist booklet. This little booklet has all the requirements for seven Pathfinder camping honors, and each one has a little checkbox by it. I print it out on cardstock with four pages per sheet, front and back. Then I fold it in half twice, staple the spine, and then cut the top fold loose. Ta da! Booklet! The seven honors (Camping Skills I-IV, Campcraft, Firebuilding, and Winter Camping) plus the cover page make up the eight pages.

David has been working furiously on his Algebra today. I think he’s going to meet his goal, and then he can camp with us tomorrow. Yay!

Now… I have a script to write!