BennyEast.Com/Blog The official blog of Kenny West


I’m calling for Backup! No don’t backup.

Every time there's a backup problem, I think of this commercial.

Anyways so right now I'm watching this one mail server backup... It's chugging along.  Last night when I was logged in checking on a few things...

(remember that my boss is out for the week, so I'm covering some of his usual known duties)

I noticed that one of the mail servers was stuck on the backup.  It's one of those deals where the service was hanging, which means you try to cancel it, it won't cancel.  But it's also never going to finish.

So, you have to manually kill and restart the services.

It's not terrible.  It's just that the backup program we use doesn't really fail gracefully.

For whatever reason computer programs fail.  It happens.  Anyways, sometimes they are very micro level things, such as little tiny services running.  Sometimes though they don't fail and restart (this is what I mean by failing gracefully).  They just hang.  Who knows what is actually going on.  It's a server running exchange and the program we use is a commercial backup program from a popular vendor.  It's running on MS windows server and it's running bare metal on a Dell server.  We have a few of these servers in racks.

We may eventually push some or all of our email stuff to cloud services like G Suite from Google, but for now we host it all in-house.

Anyways, so... earlier today I had to basically run the steps to kill a backup that had been stuck in this limbo state.  The next scheduled backup began and it's running now.  All looks good.

Today was another busy day.  But you know, busy makes the day go quick.  So it's actually not bad.  We'll see if tomorrow is equally as busy.  It's interesting because this whole deal where it's just my coworker and myself is kind of motivating us to work a little harder than we usually do.  I guess ideally when the boss comes back... We should continue this motivation... Let's hope so!

Today we were brainstorming all these projects that we've been wanting to tackle but have had on the back burner.  Just systems that we need to revamp or whatever.  One of them we actually purchased a license for but haven't implemented it yet.  So, we're going to work on that because it's a wasted license right now! And that's no good.  Buying something, and then not putting it into production is a big old waste of resources.

The idea is that you add value to your system or efficiency or whatever by purchasing something.  Or it's just a waste of the organizations valuable resources/money.

Anyways, I was going to stay up until this backup finished but I'll just check it in the morning.

I have to get up a tad bit early to take a check to the bank to pay property taxes for the house.  My hope is that the township is as mindful about being efficient with the money that I pay out in taxes as we try to be at work with the money that we take in from tuition and such.  Anyways so hopefully the backup finishes a-okay and everything just like the problem that is solved in the commercial with the roaming gnome.

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So, tonight I went to yoga after work for the 3rd night in a row.  I'm just going to go every night this week.  Then after that, I went to the gym.  I've never done this before, it was interesting.

So, yoga generally is focused on stretching and muscles and relaxation.  This means it's actually great to do before going to the gym because you are all warmed up.

Anyways so yeah I did gym and yoga.  Another pairing I've found useful is tea and coffee.  I know I said I was making coffee, and then doing tea... Well, we've had a hiccup at work and the regular water cooler thing wasn't ordered on time... Soo... I decided to bring an extra water bottle of my own and then in addition to that, I also made my tea at home.  What happened?  I started drinking it in between coffee.

What I mean is, I'd drink coffee for a little while, then switch to tea, then drink that for a little while, then switch back to coffee.  Because it's in a tumbler it stays hot.

It's interesting.  I feel like my productivity is double or something.  I'm buzzing all day!  Which helped today since the boss is still out, although instead of flying solo my coworker was in.  So that helped for sure.

Anyways yes, pairings... So, some things just work better in pairs I guess.  Kind of like how you're supposed to have at least 2 cats if you own cats.  I don't know if that's true but my mom always told me that.  She said that she could never have just had one cat, at least two are needed to keep one another company.  Or three... Or four.

Now I'm looking for more pairings.  You know, like a good wine with a good pasta.  Or something like that. I wonder what other things I've been missing out on that are better off as a pair rather than just by itself!

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Made It! (Day One)

Well, I made it through a day all by my lonesome at work.  it was pretty tiring.  Although, the thing is... It was mostly just like being at camp.

At camp I'm the only IT guy, and on top of that it's non stop from about 8am at breakfast all the way through to 11pm... Sometimes later.  So really, it wasn't all THAT big of a deal.

So it turns out that going for 2 weeks to the summer camp in Maine for my vacation from work to work even harder than I do at my usual job, trained me for my boss being out for a week.  He's supposedly going to be out for a week.

So, the way I'll look at it is, it's just like being in Maine.

Anyways, today I went to yoga after work... Yoga is amazing if you've never been.  I plan to probably go every night after work.  It basically makes it possible to not have a stressful care in the world about work.

Also, I brew my morning coffee and tea.  I also make a fruit and veggie smoothie which helps me to be at my tip top mentally so I can just bada-bing-bada-boom out the issues as they come flying in.

I went to Lowes to get a fastener thingy to fix this basement stair issue.  No lie, I was walking up my basement stairs the other day and one of them cracked on one part!  So, I'm going to fasten the wood with like 8 bracket thingys.  Eventually I'll get the carpenter guy in to look at it... Not that I currently have a carpenter guy.  So, I 'll need to find one.  In the mean time, I'm going to screw these brackets in.  I did it for the drawer like 2 years ago in the cabinet.  The nails just kind of came loose and I had to fix that, it's been flawless ever sense and you can't even see where the brackets are because I hid them on the bottom side when I screwed them in.

Anyways so... Here's to making it through the week... Come what may.  It's just like being at camp.  At least that's how I'm looking at it.  Just go with the flow.

Good thing I decided to start staying in more!  I've definitely been more prepared for this because of my decision to stay in and save money and keep it low key.

Okay, I'm going to go fix this basement stair issue and then get to sleep.

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Last night I went to this co-worker's charity.  It was fun.  Everything is donated and then all the money that is made goes to the charity.  One of the things they are doing is building a handicapped accessible park.  SO, that's pretty cool.

Anyways, I sat at a table with other work peeps and one of us actually won one of the raffle prizes!  I didn't win any of the ones I put in for though.  Oh well.

Well anyways, this is going to be a short blog because 2 out of 3 people in my department will be out tomorrow, so that leaves one person... And guess which person that leaves?  Me.  Haha, so it's going to be a busy day tomorrow and I'll be the one and only IT guy around for the entire college.  Yay!

It's alright, I just help one person at a time and everyone else has to wait their turn.  That's the best I can do.  Tomorrow after work I'm headed to yoga and then stopping at Lowes to get a little bracket thingy to fix something in the basement.  Look at me getting all do-it-myselfer!  Of course later on in the week I'll be stopping at the bank before work to pay my property tax bill.  That's an amount of money that I cringe at.  Then of course I need to inquire about fixing the brickwork...  I still need to get a new iPhone, fridge, washer and dryer... I'd love to buy a drumset and upgrade my recording stuff.  Oh well... One thing at a time.

The way I look at it is these are all luxuries.  Most of the kids that the charity benefits can't walk, or see, or hear... Or they have severe cognitive issues.  So, for me to want a new iPhone or fridge seems kind of like I'm being greedy about life.  You know?  Some people have it WAY worse off than to have a  busy day at work.

Anyways, I spent most of the weekend remotely working on things to anticipate tomorrow.  Plus, I plan to work more tomorrow evening after yoga to make sure I keep up.  The thing about anything is, as long as you do a little extra work and stay ahead, it's more manageable.  If nothing else we have a couple days for Easter break coming up too, so I can use that time to catch up on work if things get backed up.

My boss is actually going to be out all week because of a sudden personal issue... So this whole week will probably be lots of me remotely connected at night to keep up with the issues coming in.  It's one of those it is what it is situations.

Anyways, I'm off to sleep early so I can get a good night's sleep and have lots of energy for tomorrow!

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Last night I had two dreams...

Dream One: I was having construction done on my house and my cats got out.  So the majority of the dream was chasing the cats around outside trying to get them back in the house.  My cats are indoor only cats... So this is a legit fear.  In the dream were all rounded up and returned back inside.  Oddly enough by the time I got done finding them the construction had been completed.  Talk about service!

I do need some construction done on my house.  I have a bunch of things earmarked.  This is one of the reasons I am staying in more because I know that contractors aren't cheap.  One of the things I need is my brickwork re-done around the garage and the chimney.  I'm going to reach out to a local business that does that and see if I can get an estimate.

Dream Two: I was on a train, and I missed my stop because I had TOO much stuff.  Basically I had too many bags and instead of them all being neatly packed up, all of my stuff had been strewn about, so I was trying to grab the stuff and put it all in the bags.  But then the doors closed and the train kept going.  So, I finished putting all my baggage together and got off at the next stop.

Once I was finished and got off, I walked into a movie scene accidentally.  They had to stop filming and told us that we would have to wait in a specific area until filming had completed.  I got bored and started trying to find an alternate way around the holding area with all my stuff.  I stumbled into a different area that was meant for the actors.  They asked me what scene I was in and I told them that I was just trying to get through... They said they liked my face and wanted me in the movie.  I then was asked to perform a monologue.  I performed the one from acting class.  They liked it and told me that they wanted me in the movie.

Speaking of two... I've found another good "two thing"... It involves my love of coffee and tea.  So, back in the day I was a one drink man.  I used to only drink tea.  Straight no chaser.  Then I started getting into coffee.  Now I drink both every day.

The problem is when you have a tumbler... It's hard to fully clean it and cross over between coffee and tea and back.  The solution?  Two tumblers!

One is for coffee, the other is for tea.  Then you don't get that strange crossover flavor.

Remember when I was talking about mixing coffee and tea?  Yeah, no.  I mean, that dirty chia and godfather thing their okay, but it's just... Their better off as two separate things instead of better off as two.  Sometimes it happens!  Sometimes two things just don't go well together.  And that's okay.  Not everything mixes well.

I mean, trust me, TRUST ME... If you need confirmation that not EVERYTHING mixes well... Your homework for this blog is to go make the following two items in a smoothie...



Then along with those two items, go ahead and put your usual smoothie items in.

Trust me... Tomato and garlic, no matter what way you slice is... Stick it in the fridge for a day and try it the next day.

Go ahead.  Try it.  Then take a selfie of the face you make.

I don't care what anyone says, tomato and garlic belong on pasta, or pizza, or anywhere like that, but they don't belong in a fruit smoothie.

Anyways, so now that I have two containers for my coffee and tea, I also can start drinking my afternoon tea before I've finished my coffee!  This way, I can cross over slowly and in the time that pleases me.  Previously I had to gulp down the rest of my coffee then go wash out the mug and then make tea.  Now I can make the tea like around lunch time and start drinking as soon as it reaches the perfect temp.  That's the other issue, the temp will still be SOOOO hot when you first make the tea.

It's just no good.  It's all about transitioning over from morning coffee, to afternoon tea.  Then when I get home in the evening I can wind down with an herbal tea in an actual mug.  Or if I'm feeling it I can just have a nice craft beer or a glass of wine.

That's my other "two".  Beer and wine don't go together, but they can go well when alternated.  The only thing I WISH that they could make is like, half size wine bottles.  Or single serve wine bottles.  With a craft beer, I can buy the mix your own 6 pack thing at the store and then I can just open one beer and pour it into a pint glass and enjoy the beer.  But with wine, once I open that bottle, even if I do the whole vac-u-vin thing and refrigerate it and all, it's a race against time until the thing turns to vinegar!

Single serving bottles of wine, or at least half bottles, that needs to be a thing!  Also, single salad bags need to be a thing too.  That's another race against time.

Seriously, there's so many single things... I'm going to open up a singles grocery store where we have smaller sizes of things for people who are single.  And hey, who knows, maybe our shoppers might end up meeting each other there and then they can move up to the regular size grocery store!

Hey, that's not a bad idea.  A small grocery store with all single people oriented products.  From serving size, to the type of foods we carry.  It's like a bachelors and bachelorette's R US.  And maybe like once a week or something we do events too, like karaoke, quizzo, or open mics, or some other Friday or Saturday night thing.

Seriously... I'd shop there!

Single serving size wine bottles and salad bags... I'll call it "One for now, two for later".  Or, "Onenowtwolaters".

Welcome to Onenowtwolaters home of the single serving size wine bottles and salad bags.

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Let’s Find This Sock Then!

This is hilarious.  It's a parody of the dad that was interrupted during the interview on BBC.  I think it's totally accurate as heck because my mom, when we were growing up, had to deal with 3 kids and manage a whole house and even found time to date and finish a degree and work like 4 jobs including a full time job, teaching skiing, working at the summer camp... Etc. etc. and she was a single parent of us 3 kids.  She also helped us with our homework and what not.  So, I'm just like this is totally true and super funny.  I love it.



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Side Effects

I've been staying home more lately.  It's interesting, there are several "side effects" from it.

First off... I'm saving money.  I plan to put that money into other things.  It's actually quite a bit of money that I'm saving!  It's so crazy, you never realize how a little few dollars here, and a couple of other dollars there can really add up over time.

It does though.  Not only does money add up, but time does too!

So, another thing you start doing when you stay home is you start doing other little things.  I clean more, I have more home projects.

Okay, for example, I used to go to little places after work and check things out.  Obviously, you have to drive there.  That driving time, if you stay home, becomes extra time where you can do other things.

For example, let's say I was going to work on things at a coffee shop and that coffeeshop was even just 15 minutes away.  Add another 5 minutes to park, plus there's just walking to the coffeeshop from the car, finding a seat in the shop, ordering my thing.  Then walking back... and driving back.

I mean, that's easily maybe 45 minutes.  So, if I stay home, I make my own coffee... WAY cheaper than going anywhere, I then use that 45 minutes that I would have spent driving to do some other things... Then start on the work I would have done at the shop.

The other side effect is, I stay logged into work remotely more.  So, I do a thing here or there, those little things add up too!  Then my next day at work is a little bit less to deal with because I did 2 or 3 small things when I would have been in a car driving, or I would have been wherever.

Really, it pays a LOT to just stay in.  Having that edge of doing a few items then makes work less stressful.

There's like side effects from the side effects!

Anyways... I don't know, I feel like the side effects from staying in are just super positive.  I mean, okay so yes, no one can stay in ALL the time.  It's probably not healthy... So I do go out... But the other thing I've been doing more is going instead to places to sit and do work, since I now do that stuff at home instead... I have been going more to the gym and yoga.  Those two things are making me more physically fit and giving me more energy.

That just adds even more to positive effects.

So, it's just all good things all around.

One place I'm not skimping though, is the store.  The grocery store budget still remains unchecked.  It's hard to spent a lot of money at the store though... My fridge is like constantly full now.  And now I cook more.  And cooking more tends to mean you eat healthier, plus it's just fun to cook!  It's relaxing too, to just stay in and cook.

It's crazy though how much more value you get cooking your own meals.  I mean, if I go to a coffee shop and get a cookie and a coffee... Like one of those big cookies...

It's usually 3 or sometimes as much as 4 bucks for the cookie and 2.50 for the coffee.  Plus the cost of gas to drive there.  And don't forget to tip your barista!  Sometimes too, I'll get a slice of pizza down the street and bring it to the shop... Now we're talking what?  2 or 3 bucks for the slice?

So coffee shop cookie coffee and pizza and tip...

Like easily 10 bucks.  Or heck, even Panera Bread is 10 bucks easy.

10 bucks at the store?  You can actually get a good amount.

Like, for example the whole soup and sandwich thing and a tea?

I can make my own tea for pennies.  I mean, it's like 10 cents to brew a cup of tea, and that's good loose-leaf tea even!

It's like 2 bucks for a tea anywhere out.

Soup and sandwich?  I can buy a pre-made turkey hoagie, a foot long sandwich at that... For like 6 bucks at the store.  Or I can even buy all my own ingredients and make it myself.

Soup?  I can get a soup for like 2 bucks and heat it up.  I can even go with the fancy 5 dollar soup in the pre-made section along with my footlong turkey hoagie.

6 bucks for a sandwich and 5 bucks for a soup.

But, that one from the store, I can get two sandwiches, two 6 inches, and two bowls of soup from that 5 dollar soup.

3 bucks plus 2.50, or 5.50 for a pick two from the grocery store... and 10 cents for the make my own iced tea, or hot tea.

Plus, at home... I can sit anywhere I want as long as I want and no one ever asks me to leave.

So, If I really get on a roll (no pun intended) with something, even after I'm done eating my sandwich... I can just keep chugging away without having to worry about packing up and trying to pick up where I left off.

Anyways, I feel like the key to being more productive and successful in general in life, is to just stay in more...

Plus, in between things at work, I can get up and practice a song or two on guitar, which I may have done while writing this blog.  I actually did quite a few other things while I was writing this blog.

I worked remotely some, I played guitar, I gave my cats treats because they begged for treats...

I dust busted here and there some.  I organized and sorted some postal mail that I received over the last few days.

And I ate a few spoonfuls of some ice cream.  Okay, maybe that's not a great side effect that I can just get up and snack on ice cream, or any other plethora of snacks I have because remember, I have no restriction on my grocery budget... I guess they can't ALL be positive side effects.  Although, I don't know, I mean, I'm a big fan of having a snack after a small accomplishment.  It's like my own little way of rewarding myself.  I just love to snack though, I'm not going to lie.  I'm a snacker!  I try to keep it healthy with mixed nuts and dried fruits and things like that, but sometimes I just like to have ice cream, or some chocolate!

Anyways, so staying home seem's to be working out well.  It just feels like I have more grounding... Or, I just feel like I can better prepare myself for life and whatever comes at me.  You know?

Staying home just makes it feel, to me at least, like I have a slight edge and upper hand with life and work and creative things.  And that's the side effect that I want.

One of the things I always felt being out at bars or coffee shops... Was that I didn't feel like I could actually relax and truly ground down and feel prepared for the next day/week/month/life event.  I always felt like I had to put my attention to the bar tender, or the barista... Or making sure someone next to me didn't spill coffee on my laptop.  I guess I never realized that until I stopped going out and stayed in.

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Oat Milk

So, my latest discovery and new favorite thing is oat milk.  It's SOO good!

Okay, every morning I have a bowl of cereal, and a glass of OJ.  I always cut up a banana in the cereal.  Now, usually I do just plain organic whole milk.

Well recently I decided to just start trying all the various non-dairy milks they have.  I tried coconut milk, almond milk, soy, rice, I mean you name it and I've tried it...

Then I tried oat.  That was a relative newcomer to the game.  Well, oat and cashew seem newer in the milk game.  I haven't tried the cashew one...

Anyways, so oat?  Yes.  I like it!  It's super delicious.  One of the things I like about oat milk over the others?  There's no added sugar.  So, it doesn't have any cane sugar.

Here's the thing... It doesn't matter if it's high fructose, beet sugar, or cane sugar.

Sugar is sugar.  Doesn't matter the source.

If you REALLY want to know more about it, read Michael Pollan's book, In Defense of Food.

Anyways... I like the oat milk!  Also, it's oat!  So you get soluble and insoluble fiber as well, if you don't normally have a lot of that in your diet.

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Snowstorm Stella that is.  It's still snowing as I type this.  I have to get out and shovel in a few.  So far today I've just kind of lounged around the house.  I slept until noon.  I worked on some actual office work things remotely and such.  I checked my stocks, made one buy yesterday and one last week, 9 dollar divvy check from my J and J shares that I've had for like 3 years now, so I get a deposit in my trading account from them every 3 months... But other than that after I make lunch and then go shovel, I'm going to work on musics.  More editing of this cover art and this one song.

I guess it's been a LONG time since I've posted a new song, so, I'm working on it more than usual I suppose.

I've been working on other songs too.  I don't know, I've also just been busy I guess.

Well, I'm just enjoying the snow day and an excuse to keep things low key.  It's fun to watch the flakes fly and sit warm and cozy inside with some hot coffee.  Last night I had pizza and sipped on chamomile tea and ate pizza and Chocolate Cherry Garcia ice cream.

At the moment I have a cat purring on my lap.  I'll have to disturb her in a moment to go shovel.  I like shoveling, it's a good workout, plus I listen to a podcast of some sort and get my learn on.  Or I indulge in an iTunes U class.

To be honest though, I thought we were going to get more snow, so I'm kind of a little let down by the storm.  But, there's definitely a fair amount of snow out there!  So, I'll take it.  Basically, we got almost no snow this year.  I mean, there were a couple of small time storms but this was the only one that could have been a real doozy and it turned out to be a lot of mixing and icing and sleeting and what have you... I'm more into just having it be straight-up snow, none of this mixing stuffs.

On the bright side I still have power!  For now.  Who knows.  I just checked the power company outage map and it doesn't look like there's a TON of people without power and the estimated restore times seem to be only a couple hours, so I guess if I do lose power, it would only be for a few hours.

Well I'm off to enjoy the rest of my snow day and consume some of these snacks that I stocked up on!  I really did buy SOOOO much more food than was actually necessary for one day of snow.  It's okay, it just means I have work snacks for the next couple weeks.  And lots of other delightful treats to eat for dinners and lunches.

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This Way! That Way! Which Way?

Saturday Night I went to Triumph in New Hope to see this band I like called This Way To The Egress...

It was a REALLY good show.  Although, I'll admit I meant to have 1 less beer than I did.  See, what had happened was, they had two different pilsners on tap.  So when I ordered, I got the other one instead of the one I wanted... So, then I really wanted the other one, so I got that beer after I finished that one that was supposed to have been my last one.  See this is where my Tabby app would have come in handy because in the app, maybe you order the drink, and then the person clicks on that, and it shows up in your app right away, and you can say... Wait!  Before you pour... This is the other one and I wanted a different one.

I did the responsible thing though and walked ALL the way down main street New Hope and back to my car.  Or maybe it wasn't so responsible since it was the middle of the night...

Anyways, I had a slight hangover which turned into me sleeping all day which is why I'm up at 3am writing this blog... About to head to sleep.

So, the band was great, the beer was great... and tonight I just took it easy and went to the gym and the grocery store and stocked up for this incoming snowstorm.  It looks like it's going to be quite the doozy!  My only thing with storms is, I like them, as long as the power stays on.

I make hot beverages, I work on things around the house, I watch the snow, I watch my cats, I watch Netflix shows in my queue, I make music, I read... Etc. etc.

As long as the power stays on, I'm set.  I do however have some back up plans if the power does go out.  I have food that doesn't require power and my laptop can stay on for a while without power so I'll just write and work on that stuff.  I bought stuff for sandwiches.  So yep.

Anyways... I'm actually kind of excited... Who doesn't love a good snowstorm!  It makes me feel like a kid again.

Anyways so that band is playing again in a few weeks, this time closer to my house, over in Manayunk.  SO, I plan to go to that show too.  I was going to go to a third show thinking it was a festival but it's not, it's like... Something else... I'm not sure, so I'm probably not going to that.  They are just like playing before and after a movie showing or something?  So, I'll probably just go to the one in Manayunk and that will be it.

They remind me a lot of this band called The Hush Sound.  I've you've never heard The Hush Sound... Check them out, they rock too.  I don't think they are still together anymore but they're pretty awesome.

Anyways, I'm going to attempt sleep again.  That's what I get for sleeping ALL day today.  Hah.

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