zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
Here's a photo, presented without previous commentary:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/60411012@N07/5513036036/in/set-72157626245199304/lightbox/

Now, commentary. This was taken a week or so ago, when the two guys in the picture were called away from a social event to help deal with a problem that was causing downtime for the site that I work for (StumbleUpon).

I love the photo. Posting it also gives me an excuse to call out two really smart guys that I work with a lot. Berk on the left and Benoit on the right. They're really awesome guys and part of the reason I really like working at StumbleUpon.

This photo made me think some about the tech industry. Part of me thinks that it's really neat that I'm in an industry where I can literally work from anywhere that has an Internet connection. 99.5% of what I do can be done from a beach in the Caribbean, if I wanted. That's pretty awesome.

Of course, then another part of me realizes what that leads to. I was up at 3:30 AM last night getting a database maintenance done, and then back up at 10:30 AM doing the second leg of that. I'm now watching my databases slowly replicate back up to speed and, in some number of hours, I'm going to have to slowly start warming them up before I can return them to production.

If I had the kind of job where I had to be in the office to do it, then my weekend would be free and clear and I wouldn't feel like I have something hanging over me to get done. There would be no nagging at the back of my head about projects that aren't finished, priorities that need sorting, or all of the miscellaneous other things that occupy my neurons when I'm conscious.

I can see why people go into other industries to get out of tech... this gets to be draining after a while.

Ok. Time to go focus on something else.
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zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
Continuing my string status updates ...

Since my role at Dreamwidth has been reduced, that frees me up to take a different job.

I am now the Operations Manager for StumbleUpon, a company that's been around for about 10 years and is located here in San Francisco. If you're not familiar with us, here's the synopsis: StumbleUpon is a discovery engine that finds the best of the web, recommended just for you.

I'm sure most of you are familiar with my strong stance regarding advertising in general and online advertising in particular. Well, StumbleUpon (henceforth SU) is a really awesome company, and they adhere to my strict criteria to be a Good Company when it comes to advertising. I'm quite happy with how they do things.

Anyway, I'm responsible for the ops and IT for the company and currently manage six people. Yep, ol Marky-Mark is now a manager. I was managing on Dreamwidth anyway, but that was with volunteers and remote people. Now I'm doing it face to face with people... it's very different, but very awesome. I'm really enjoying it and find myself continually challenged every day by the problems and responsibilities.

The position is exactly what I was looking for. I can feel myself growing skills I've previously only been touching the edges of and I really look forward to what the future brings.

And yes, I'm still coding and doing non-management work. :-)
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zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
I should probably try to be better about chronicling the day to day adventures of my life...

...well, truth be told, life isn't that adventurous on a day by day basis. It's in aggregate that patterns start to emerge and analysis becomes interesting. But that aggregated time takes a while to accumulate, at which point people probably start wondering if I've kicked it. (Non-essential bus!)

Today I had a funny thing happen. I got into work, and my desk phone has a voicemail light on. Apparently someone called and left me a message, hurrah! So I pressed the Voicemail button and was greeted by a gruff voice demanding my extension and PIN. I know neither. I figured out my extension and tried a few of my standard PINs, but no luck.

I checked around on the company intranet to try to find information on configuring the voicemail system. Ah-hah! I found a web page that purports to configure your voicemail. I followed the steps, entered my PIN, and confirmed everything. Submitted the form. This set off a chain of events that I still don't quite follow:

a) My New Voicemail Account was provisioned.

b) My existing extension was moved to the New Voicemail System.

c) My phone was reprogrammed to use the New Voicemail System.

Okay, great. Now I can push the Voicemail button and get an entirely different voice (this one a more pleasant sounding guy) asking for my PIN. Then telling me that I have no messages. I stare at the light on my phone, still happily burning and telling me that, in fact, I do have a voicemail.

As best I can determine the voicemail I still have not heard is on the Old Voicemail System, and by filling out that web page I found, I am now part of the New Order of Voicemail, For Great Glory of Telephony, Yay. But with no apparent access to my old message.

Sometimes you can't win. Really.
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zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
I'll have to post about it more in depth later, but this weekend I built a camera mount for my motorcycle. Of course, then I bought a Flip UltraHD camera and used it:





That's a 10x speed version of the ride from Best Buy at Union Landing back to the house. It took 14 minutes, but it's only 2 or 3 miles. Sigh.

But the camera died after the first run. It won't turn on anymore, so I'm going to have to take it back to Best Buy sometime (probably tomorrow?) and try to get another one. I really would like to have my camera in working order.

This weekend I also took my bike to the Carnegie SVRA (State Vehicular Recreation Area). I took my poor little BMW off-roading up and down hills, through dirt, sand, gravel, and rocks! And I nearly let her slide down a hillside, but managed to save it. Had to get somebody else to help me reorient and send her uphill again, though, as I could not on my own. Wish I had photos.

I decided that offroading is great fun, but I think I'd rather have a bike with tires more suited for it, and probably a little less expensive. While the F650GS is a dual-sport bike and can go offroad (and did quite well, considering), it's probably better if I'm not worried about my baby!

Hmmm... I was also oncall this weekend, and it wasn't too exciting. Nothing to report there. (And even if it was exciting... not like I could talk about it. Alas.)
May. 14th, 2009 12:13 am

grr

zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
Very frustrating evening. [[staff profile] mark]

Other than that, I am on call this week, as mentioned. But the remote office that normally handles the pager overnight is at an off-site, so I get to carry the pager tonight and tomorrow night. It should be fine (pager volume is pretty damn light!), but if I am grumpy tomorrow you know why!

In other news: omg, I will soon be a husband. WTF. I do not have any words to describe how much I am WTF OMG WTF OMG about this whole thing. Really. It's blowing my mind. I don't even know what to think right now. Oh yeah, and I owe Janine a lot of things by this weekend... oops... sorry honey, brain got eaten by PayPal. :(
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Apr. 26th, 2009 03:59 pm

send help

zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
Payment system has eaten my brain. Send help.

Oh yeah, and trying to simultaneously build out 30 new servers. Thankfully it's not terribly difficult (Puppet does a lot of the heavy lifting), but it's still a pretty manual process in a lot of places.

Also forgot to eat lunch, but am about to rectify that.

Yesterday's oncall shift was pretty busy. Stuff happened. Today: not a page yet, let's hope this luck continues to hold...

This entry's randomness brought to you by the letter OH HEY I SEE A DEER WITH SPARKLES ON IT
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zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
Each night I go to bed is one night closer to April 30th.

I must confess, I'll be glad when this mystical date has come and gone. No matter what happens. Of course, I am a bit scared of it. I suppose all papas feel that way when their baby is about to come due.

I rambled on a lot more here, but then I deleted it. My mind is in too much turmoil right now to really have any coherent thoughts.

...

Work was fun today. I had a page that required me to take action, and then spend an hour investigating. I had to contact another team to get some information, and in the end, came up with a good picture of what happened. My tech lead complimented me on handling it well.

...

I need to spend more time snuggling Janine. I've been thinking that a lot lately. There's so much going on, balancing is hard. She understands this, though.

I'm also really extremely proud of her. It's been a long three and a half months, but she was extended a verbal job offer today and basically accepted. She won't start until after we get back from Baltimore, but I'm really, really happy that she has found something she likes.

...

Bed nao.
zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
I've just completed the handoff procedures to pass the pager (virtually) to the next oncall. They have the honor (?) of carrying the pager for the next nine hours until 10AM when they pass it back to me. So the cycle will continue for the next six days!

Anyway, the shift went well. I only got paged four times, and of those, three were effectively no-ops caused by someone doing something. (Okay, to be fair, I'm going to be fixing the monitoring to not alert in those particular situations. But I didn't have to do anything to fix a problem.) The fourth was really simple and not really a problem either, but I did have to take action.

This evening, in between waiting for my pager to go off (it didn't go off once after I got home), I managed to get a bunch of Dreamwidth stuff done. Of course if you ask me what I did I probably won't be able to tell you, but I did it. Uhm, yeah, lots of random things.

Time to go to bed.
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zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
If you're looking for me this week, please expect me to be a little slow at... well, just about everything. I'm on call this week for my day job, so that's expected to take up some percentage of my time. How much? Not sure yet. Will let you know when it's all said and done.

The oncall rotation means I have the pager from 10AM to 1AM Monday through Friday, and then 1PM to 1AM next Saturday and Sunday.
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Apr. 17th, 2009 10:32 am

Testing!

zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
Okay, so I think I got the user mover working. Turns out I really didn't have to do anything, Brad designed it to work with new tables as they get added, so it just auto-detected all of the WTF tables and such and seems to work okay.

Going to poke around and see if I notice any problems, though. And probably take a stab at moving the rest of the people still on cluster #1 so I can drop the data in it. Yay!

In other news, today is Friday. How did that happen? Oh, I know, work keeps me busy and then my evenings have exploded with all sorts of random things happening. Like a new dog. Yeah, we got a new addition to the family. His name is Trigger right now and he's a little brown/black Dachshund. Seems to be remarkably healthy given his origin. (And I should probably write up about that, but I don't have the time/energy this second.)

Janine will be gone this weekend. I think that means I am going to be buried so far into Dreamwidth code land that you won't see me until Monday morning when I roll out of bed from three hours of sleep and drag myself to work. That is the kind of weekend it's going to be, I bet. A whirlwind! Of coding. Yes.

Ta for now.
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zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
If you're into development/coding/etc, please remember to watch/join [site community profile] dw_dev. We're going to start using it more and more as time goes on, so everybody should be in the habit now.

Today I'm off to work for the morning, then: PAINTBALL! Team outing, GO.
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Apr. 1st, 2009 12:21 am

AF day

zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
I don't suppose if I tried to post and say "April Fool's! Dreamwidth has been a joke the entire time!" it would go over so well. In fact, I imagine people might beat me down and then beat me again... etc etc.

Aaaaaaaaaanyway.

Oh, shizcakes. I forgot to grade my goals from last quarter at work. They're due tomorrow. Note to self, get on that...
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zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
The questions are starting to float around about "how do I get a Dreamwidth account already!" Well, there's a few answers. [personal profile] zvi has broken down all of the options into a very informative post:

http://zvi.dreamwidth.org/504277.html

Yeah, I link to her a lot. She's on top of things and very informative. Please read her posts if you are curious as to what is going on in the closed beta, how to get an account, etc.

Anyway.

Work has literally flown by today. Janine's on her way over so we can hang out for a few minutes before she heads off to class tonight. That'll be neat. I like hanging out with her. I admit that I am probably a bit biased here, but I do think she's the probably the smartest, prettiest, and most awesome woman in the world. :)

Oop, back to work! And tonight: hopefully I can get some coding in! (Okay, so I might be doing some more patch reviews and neglecting my own coding... gah! The perils of having so many awesome people doing development work...)
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zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
Looks like the new cluster survived overnight. While sleeping (relatively poorly) last night, I remembered that I hadn't yet moved the cron jobs over. And this morning I saw that the embedding subdomain DNS wasn't updated either. Those are both now resolved.

Cacti is up and running too and is happily monitoring the resource usage of the new cluster. I don't really have any useful graphs to show -- honestly our traffic is low enough that the graphs are mostly noise right now. Hopefully as closed beta progresses and we start pulling more and more people in, the graphs will start to become useful.

Anyway, time to get to work. Have a busy day ahead -- end of the quarter this week!
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zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
Don't ask. I really don't know.

I've given up on the Rich Text Editor. Too much time trying to convince to add spaces here, remove spaces there, move this or that, and finally I'm just down to the plain ol' HTML editor. My old friend. We meet again.

Work was really busy today, and tomorrow will be the same.

Dreamwidth open beta is coming soon! I really need to spend some more time working on the payment system. Oh [livejournal.com profile] whitaker, how I used to laugh at you...

Bedtime.
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zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
I'm having one of those weird days where my brain is sliding around! I'm being pretty productive here at work, but it's kind of funny how fast I'm bouncing between tasks. I can't seem to keep one thing in my head for longer than 20 minutes right now. It doesn't help that I was just listening to Eddie From Ohio, either!

Of course, Janine claims I'm always a bit odd, and that this isn't abnormal. I think she's just humoring me or something. Maybe it's the can of Red Bull I'm drinking. (Damn I love this stuff.)

Uhhhhhhhhhhh.

Not sure what else to say. Rode my motorcycle to work today. It was 52 and foggy on the way in, but it's sunny and warming up to the mid-60s now, so the ride home this evening should be very nice. (Aside from traffic, which is majorly fail, but that's life. At least I can generally go around them or between them! Mwa ha ha.)

Guess that's it for now. Going to see if I can't figure out how to do this thing I'm trying to do before my 3PM meeting followed quickly by a 4:30PM meeting, which won't leave me time to work once they start.
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Mar. 19th, 2009 12:38 am

zzz

zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
This week has been sort of stumbling along. I've been spending some time in the evenings on Dreamwidth, but not nearly as much as I have been the past few weeks. I've instead spent more time on some other things I've been neglecting lately - not least of which was pulling Janine upstairs last night hours earlier than we normally go to bed so we could hang out and talk.

Anyway, things are going. Been busy. Been tired. Don't have much to say today. Work was good, uneventful, and my projects are going well. We're nearing the end of the quarter, so I need to start looking at the goals I set for Q1 and see how I'm stacking up against them. Good stuff.

Uh...

Need to get more people to post so I have more things to read. I don't read LJ anymore, so this is my only source of information! (Of course, I think it'll get pretty busy when we open up for open beta... whee!)

Yeah, good night!
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zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
Tonight was almost literally a code implosion.  After I got home from work I took a brief nap, got some food (oatmeal + red bull, heh) and then got to work.  Spent the next four hours straight fixing bugs, implementing things, reviewing patches, and following it all up with a code push.  It's a great feeling to see a plan start to come together.

We're really hoping to double the number of people in closed beta this weekend.  We're waiting on the S2 team at the moment though, as we don't want to loose everybody on core1.  I'm pretty excited!

In other news...

Hmm, not sure what other news I have.  It's now the weekend.  I think [personal profile] nova is planning on coming up tomorrow to work on Dreamwidth.  But that's not "other news" -- that's more of the same!  I guess I'm sort of a broken record lately.  I do really feel that my life only consists of three things right now:
  • work
  • dreamwidth
  • wedding
And to be fair, I'm not doing tons of wedding stuff right now.  I've cancelled my Warcraft accounts, my EVE accounts lie half-cancelled and totally-languishing.  I've not played any games in months.  I've been Mr Focused and Driven.

Driven like a crazy man.

At the one-on-one with my boss this past week, he gave me pretty good feedback.  Says I'm doing really well and he's very happy (and somewhat impressed) at my ramping-up speed.  Today, my tech lead said that he thinks I will be ready for an on-call shift before the traditional six month waiting period - but I don't think I'm going to volunteer quite yet.  ;-)

Time to sleep.

zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
I realize that I listen to some rather varied music depending on my mood.  Right now, or rather today, I purchased Nickelback's new album "Dark Horse" and have been grooving to that.  Couple nights ago it was Prodigy's "Invaders Must Die."  Of course, some nights I feel the urge to go back to my roots and it's Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, and other country artists.  Throw in some Kelly Clarkson, Alanis Morisette, Evanescence, Within Temptation.  Oh yeah, and let's not forget Ladytron (mmm), Rob Dougan, etc etc.

On the flip side, I'm not a huge fan of rap styles - although some songs are okay.  I've never been big on Blues/Jazz either.  But generally speaking... om nom music!  I like the music.  Much bigger fan of "professional" music though.  Nothing wrong with making your own, but I've never been able to get into people who rewrite songs and then sing them, etc.  I like when it all fits together really well.

Another weird thing about music for me - I generally don't know the words.  Even a song I've "sung" a million times in the car, I just mumble through most of the words.  Since I never really listen to the words, it's all just about how it sounds when put together.  (Another reason I'm not a big fan of homemade music, I don't really listen to music for the words so the value in the song tends to be lost on me.)

In other news, today was productive.  I like that feeling of actually getting things done and making progress in my projects.  My tech lead "signed off" (it's not official like that, but he looked at my progress and approved).  Now I can move on to the next stage of the project, which is exciting.  This project is my big one for the quarter, and I'm on track to have it done in the next few weeks.  :)

I think tonight will be a commit party for DW, too.  Spent some of last night doing commits but ended up getting sidetracked.  We'll see how tonight goes, but my goal is to have no open patches for review.  :)

I'm also going to start reading the book that someone (Denise?) found about Producing Open Source Software.  It looks like a really useful and interesting book.  A lot of the stuff he seems to talk about (in my brief scan of topics) is stuff we're already doing or will be doing, so I'm pretty excited about that.

Aaaaaaand it's time to finish up what I'm working on and go home!
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Dec. 1st, 2008 10:30 pm

update

zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
Just so everybody's in the loop: I accepted a position at Google and started today, December 1st.
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Mark Smith

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