Kids are back

Just got back from my first outdoor run in what seems like forever, so I’m sure I’ll be nice and sore tomorrow. I’ve really fallen off with the biking (and exercising in general) recently, and I do hope to ride in several more times this year, but this is definitely the time of year when I start to transition from biking to running as my main form of exercise. Which reminds me that I need to pick up a new pair of shoes.

Work has been absolutely insane lately, as it always is this time of year (the kids are back). However this year has been rockier than recent years. myUMBC always gets pounded at the start of the fall semester, and this year we’ve had problems with almost all of our back end systems at one point or another: the HP3000, the Oracle database, and even our enterprise filesystem. myUMBC is kind of like a canary in a coal mine. It relies on a complex, fragile infrastructure of systems and services, and if any one of them goes down, myUMBC is usually the first thing to die. Here’s a rundown of emergency work performed in the last few days to try and keep myUMBC running:

  • Late-night database reconfiguration to make Oracle less of a dog
  • Shuffling Easipipe around to attempt to fix flakiness on the HP3000 (it didn’t work)
  • Reconfigured myUMBC web server to work around IE SSL weirdness
  • Turned off Tomcat clustering stuff that wasn’t working and was possibly screwing stuff up

Things seem to be improved today, with the HP3000 thing the only unresolved issue. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

On the home front, we’ve got tulip poplar leaves all over the place. I would so love to cut those things down. I guess I shouldn’t complain too much, because they at least waited until the end of August. The drier the weather is, the earlier they start dropping leaves. We’re in a semi-drought now, although it didn’t start until mid-summer. If the entire summer had been dry, I probably would have been dealing with leaves in late July. I really need to get a leaf net for the pool.

And of course, the semi-drought likely will end tomorrow with the tropical system that’s supposed to pass through and give us more biblical flooding. It’s really feast-or-famine with rain around here these days, and it seems like it’s been that way for about a year now. Afterwards I guess I’ll have to mow again, which I haven’t done in quite awhile, and haven’t really missed.

If previous years are any indication, we’ve got at best another month of swimming left. And this year, we’ll be at the beach the last week of September (T-minus 3 weeks). So I guess we should toss Michael into the pool while the tossing’s good. On that note, I’m outta here for today.