BennyEast.Com/Blog The official blog of Kenny West


Computer, Netflix, and Cooking

My new favorite thing is spending my evenings after I get home from yoga, which is what I do pretty much every night after work now, cooking dinner.

I actually setup my laptop too and my iPad so I can watch Netflix and type on my laptop while I cook dinner!

It's awesome.

I make myself a nice home cooked meal, and then watch Netflix.  I also work on things on my laptop.  Like write this blog, or remotely sort emails at work.

Honestly?  I kind of want to completely redo my kitchen at some point.  My next thing though is that I need a new phone, and I have to repoint the brick work in the front of the house.

I did buy some new work pants the other night and I wore them today.  Snazzy.  They're comfy!  And they look cool too.

Tomorrow is Friday!  Woo.  I'm soo ready for the weekend.  It's been a busy week.  My boss is back at least.  He drinks weird smoothies every morning since he's got this thing happening now where he has to change his diet and consume lots of fruits and veggies.

I told him to buy a juicer and try adding juicing in addition to the blending.  Additionally I told him to read this one book called "Food Rules".  It's everything anyone needs to know about eating right.

I made a big salad tonight and as well a turkey burger and then a small soup to go with it.  Since my boss is being forced to eat all healthy by his doc... I've decided to add more healthy things to my dinners and lunches and what not.  Although, I already eat fairly healthy I suppose... But I do enjoy some "comfort foods" every now and then.  Who doesn't!?!?

Anyways, so I'm going to try and maybe be more in solidarity with him.

Well, at any rate I'm enjoying just spending more time in my kitchen and making nice dinners and such.

I have a whole list of projects for around the house that I want to accomplish, and staying in and cooking my own meals saves TONS of money.  Seriously, going out and eating out is actually really expensive!  You might not realize it if you spend a little here or there on food every once in a while, but it really is expensive.  And it definitely adds up.  Plus, if you stay in and cook, generally your meals tend to be healthier as well.  SO, it's a win all around.

Well, I'm off to bed in a few, I have to figure out what I want to cook tomorrow night!  I might stop at IKEA and LOWES tomorrow after yoga.

My next small projects are that I want to re-do the house numbers on the front of the house, and I'm looking for a very specific piece of furniture.  Like, it's a wooden coffee table esk type of thing, but not really, and it has cloth or fabric covered bins that slide in one side.  I can't really describe it but I'd know if I saw it.  You can store things in the cloth fabric bins that slide into it... Those are cubes, there's like 8 of them or so.... But the thing is about the size and shape of a coffee table.  I know it exists and I'm not making things up.  I'm kind of just looking for something like that.  Doesn't have to be THAT exact thing, but something that I can put stuff on top of it and use it in one of my rooms to organize, and then I can use the bins that slide into it for storage.

So I figure I'll just browse IKEA and see what they have.  My other small project is to go to Target at some point again and pick up picture frames to frame memory things of my mom.  And then put those up around the house.  There were these two poster things made by my sister for her funeral that we put in the one room here as a little memory area.  So, I'll probably put those in frames and then hang them in one of the rooms.

I'm not sure yet.  I have lots of ideas though of things I want to do around the house.  SO, we'll see.  I'd like to do some decorating, renovating, and buy some new furniture and such in the near future.  That's the grand plan anyway.


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The Early Bird Gets The Worm

"Yeah, but what if I don't like worm."

"Too bad.  Worm is what's on the menu.  Enjoy your worm!"

"Hey you know, this worm is pretty good.  Not too bad.  I'm not really big on worm but this worm isn't bad worm."

So today I got up SUPER early and went into work early.  It wasn't bad.  Tomorrow I'm back to the normal time.  SO, thats awesome.  It will probably feel almost like I'm sleeping in.  Yesterday I went in early too.  I'm happy to be back to the normal time.  I feel like once in a while though, I might go in early just for kicks.

Well, okay, what I mean is... When you're early, it just makes it feel like you're more on top of things.

It's interesting to come super early to work.  I mean, I'm not talking about 15 or 30 minutes.  I was a full hour and a half early.

It just feels like the day starts off on the right foot.  I think maybe once a month, I might just do that.  Come a good hour and a half early.

It also makes the regular day seem shorter.  If you make a long day every once in a blue moon, it will give you something to contrast things against.

See, I mean, I've been at the same job and the same organization basically my entire adult working life.  SO, I don't really have much to compare it against.

I know a lot of people change jobs every couple years, some even every few months!

I've just happened to have stayed where I'm at.  I'm always 9-5.  It's really 9-5 with an hour lunch.  It's supposedly a 7 hour work day.  I used to do that back in the day when I was a young one.  But, now a days I just eat lunch at my desk and remote in after hours... And come early sometimes.  And I'll remote over weekends generally too.

My coworker on the other hand refuses to do any of that.  He's strictly his hours, doesn't check his email outside of work, doesn't remotely connect... Etc. etc.  He's entitled to do as he pleases.

Different strokes for different folks I guess.  He has a wife and kid though, and I'm just a single guy, so I don't really have any obligations outside of my cats.

I'm one of those people who likes to go a little above and beyond though.  But that's just how I am.

Seriously though, the early bird does seem to get the worm... Now, whether you like worm or not is a different story...

But, like today... Going in early, it just makes you feel more in control of your work.

Also, if you're spotted being there early, people kind of give you that vibe like... "Oh... Hey... Look at you... Coming in all early and what not."

The opposite is true too if you show up late.

If you show up late, even by 10 minutes, at least when I do, it throws off my whole day.  I hate it.  I can barely focus.  I feel like I can't accomplish anything.

Anyways tomorrow... I'll be exactly on time.  I might aim for ten minutes early.  We'll see.

And whether or not I like worm, I'm still going to have some worm maybe once a month.

Just kind of get up randomly and come in maybe an hour and some change early.

All I know is that this week, my boss's boss wasn't going to my coworker to "check in" on things and "get updates on the phone carrier switchover..." She was coming to me.

Is that a good thing?  Who knows.  Just something I noticed.

But that's the thing, if you volunteer to show up earlier than your regular work hours... It makes people look at you differently.  You can just tell.  They look at you in a way, almost as if to say... This employee seems slightly more responsible than I previously thought they were.  I'll keep that in mind for the future.

But most importantly though with this whole worm thing... I don't know, surprisingly I liked it.  I thought I would really kind of be annoyed possibly, or just hate being there so early... I didn't even bother to leave exactly 8 hours after I arrived.

I was just like, I'll just stay my normal hours on top of the early bit.  I mean, I really didn't mind.  It was interesting.  I don't much care for worm usually... But today... You know the rest.





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A Barracuda and A Chimp Walk Into A Taco Place, You’ll Never Believe What Happens Next!

Today my boss was back in town.  And by back in town, I mean back at work.  Of course my other two coworkers decided to skip "town".

Can't have it all.  And by "have it all" I mean... Can't have everyone at work at once.

Anyways, I take a day when it's not just me playing sheriff as a good day.

I was going to take off blogging today but I figured Doogie Howser might not be too happy about that.

After all, he was a teen doctor and he always managed to write at the end of the evening/show!

Anyways today at work I was helping the web/marketing person at work figure out an issue with Mail Chimp not sending emails through.  We figured out that the Barracuda was the issue.  Barracuda is our spam blocking appliance that the mail servers sit behind.

So, as we speak, I'm updating IP lists to allow those chimps and those barracudas to get along.

What happens next?  Hopefully the students see their weekly inbox blasts with all the campus events.

We shall see!

Well, tonight was busy as well, I got my choppers shammied up at the dentist, and got tacos with my brother.  This actually happened in reverse order, I don't know why I typed it in that order.  I'm probably just extra tired.

Then I went to the gym, and now I'm at home doing some things before bed.  Tomorrow will be a busy day with switching the phone system over.

So... We'll see how that goes.

I'm ready for the weekend already so I can just sleep in.  Who's ready for the weekend?  I am!  Who has plans this weekend?  Not me.  My only plans are to stay home basically the whole weekend.

Hopefully work on some hot new jams and things around the house.


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There’s No I In Team

Today I was the only sheriff in town.  It was alright.  I mean OBVIOUSLY I'd rather be part of a team than the only gun slinger laying down the law.

Boss is still out, and my coworker was out because he worked Saturday.

It's interesting though being the only firefighter with a hose to put out fires.  Like, if I weren't there today... There'd be no one to answer any of the helpdesk worries.

I felt a little like a superhero I guess.  Haha, like "Oh no!  Who's going to fix this computer conundrum for us!"

And then I swoop in and I'm just like... "WHY, I WILL!"

And they are like, "Oh my!"

Okay, so not exactly, but still.

The thing I hate though is that I can't take care of everyone fast enough.  Obviously you need a whole team to run a helpdesk.  Unless it's a VERY small business then you can get away with one person.  But an entire college would be in big trouble if there were only one guy running the show.

I went to the vet after work, then yoga, then the store, then cooked dinner, made a crab cake and bought potato salad and made an actual salad too.

Anyways so suffice it to say I'm pooped!  I'm about to head to sleep.  Tomorrow I have a teeth cleaning after work.  I actually have to be at work early to supervise a firewall config by a consulting company that is helping to port our phones over to a new provider so the college can save money.  I didn't have to come in an hour early...

But the guy doing the config suggested 8am.

Here's my thing about work ethic... To me?  You make things as smooth as possible.  Especially if your boss is out.

So, if the guy is like 8am for the firewall config, and then I say... "Oh, well, You know, I kind of don't come in until 9."

I mean, hey, everyone has their own work ethic... But to me?  You can get out of bed an hour early one day.

Although I also have to be at work an hour and a half early on Wednesday for the actual porting over of the phone system.

But I'm just like big deal.  I can sleep in this weekend.

My thing is, and has always been, work hard.  It doesn't matter what you do, or who you work for...

But if you're not going to be willing to go that little extra mile, there's someone else who is, and they would LOVE to have your job.

So, if you are just going to be lazy and be like... "Well, you know, my actual start time isn't usually until 9am."

And your point is?

You're not entitled to a job.  You have your job because that organization needs something done and you're the best/most qualified person to get that task accomplished.

So, prove it.  Prove that they hired you for a good reason.

Just work hard.  That's my thing.  If someone needs you to come in an hour early once in a while, do it.

Anyways I'm off to bed.

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The Way Out Of The labyrinth, Is To Go Into The labyrinth

I've often likened, at least in my mind, life to a giant labyrinth.  Each new turn or twist has some new puzzle to solve.  You're trying to find your way out... Whatever out is.

I've always thought out was the thing that I would spend all my time doing if I didn't have to do anything else in life.  SO, for me at least "out" is writing songs and recording those songs.  It's anything artsy really, the whole acting books music thing.  Etc.  Just sitting and thinking, going on runs in the summer outside on a nice day.  Mostly playing guitar/drums/bass/keyboard... And messing around in my music programs.

But the labyrinth of your life can be whatever it is you like to do.  I guess we're all making our ways through our own life labyrinths.

The life labyrinth is made up of all the little struggles that we come across, and then we have to figure out the best way to... Well... Figure them out.  Right?

So, we're all kind of just wandering around down these paths and coming into these obstacles and having to figure them out...

Maybe it's dealing with an issue at work, or having a struggle with family, or your living situation.  Life just keeps throwing more obstacles at you at a constant pace.  The life labyrinth just keeps going, relentless.

The thing is, you think, okay, if I JUST get this done, or that done... I'll be set.  I've kind of realized that, that's never the case.

The labyrinth will always suck you in further and further, and you'll always have troubles to deal  with.  So, what can you do?

Well, the thing about it all is, you get better at knowing how it works.  So, it's not that life gets any less labyrinthy or that you come across less struggles.  But, you get better at dealing with them.

There's a scene in Bruce Almighty where he's answering all the prayers coming into his inbox with one hand and sipping coffee with the other.  Which is kind of what I've figured out is how this life works.  There's always going to be stuff coming at you, but what happens is you get better at dealing with all the stuff.  You figure out how to deal with stuff faster so that you can go back to what you want to do.

For me?  That meant actually backtracking instead of going forward.

For some foolish reason I thought I was supposed to run around town and go all over to these things because I'd bump into some lead that would then take me somewhere.  All it did was consume a lot of my free cashflow and time and energy.  Since I've been staying home instead and only going specially to things like yoga, the gym, the store... Lowes, Target... Etc. etc.

This way, I'm starting to deal with things faster.  Which then frees up more energy and time and resources to gear towards what I REALLY want to do.

For me, that's music.

And the thing is, it's a feedback loop.  So the more you become better at dealing with the obstacle and such the better you become at dealing with future ones.  Which frees up more free time.

At least that's what I'm finding.  So, instead of going "out"... the way out, is actually "in".  Crazy, I know... But it turns out that the way out of the labyrinth of life, at least for small periods of time, isn't to try to stay out late and run all around, it's to just stay in.  It's to just be IN the labyrinth and just get better at dealing with all the stuff coming my way.

Make sense?

So, my previous logic was that if I drive places and go "far" I'll be able to then get to further places in life eventually.  But, if I stay in and actually don't go very far, that frees up money for me that I would have spent on gas and tolls and miles on my car and time spent driving... And instead I can work on things at home, not only more music, which can then be downloaded and streamed which will in turn actually generate more revenues for me...

But I can work on work work, and I can work on my house, and I can work on better stock pick research...

All of these lead to better outcomes.

Working on work work puts me ahead at work and makes it so my actual 9-5 work day is less stressful and more manageable.  Working on my house increase the value of the house when the time comes that I will finally/eventually sell it, and working on stock picks means I can get better earnings on my stocks and investments which then let me use that cash coming in to do more with... The house, music, go buy new work clothing so I can look shaper at work... Whatever... Eat healthier so I can feel better so I can have more energy.

To deal with the labyrinth even better.

Anyways so my current plan to be able to do more later on down the road... Is to do less.  To get out of the Labyrinth, I'm going in.

Weird right?

Instead of trying to get away from it all, just get better at dealing with it all.  Find better ways.

One thing I did was, my wrists would hurt from all the computer use that I do... Now I go to yoga every day.  I pay a monthly fee and just go every day.  So, now I can type type type... I just go after work and do an hour yoga every day.

Another thing is that sometimes my coworker wants to go eat in the cafeteria for lunch... Instead of staying in the office and eating at our desks.  My personal thing is.. I like to stay at my desk and do work through lunch.  I just like to get things done and have an open cleared task list so that we can just get the next issue right as it comes in.  Because there's always stuff.  So if you step away for even an hour or whatever... You come back to people running around screaming in a panic because something isn't working right somehow and so they are like... "AHHHHHHHH!!!!  WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!!?!?!?!?"

And then we have to get through the backlog of people with computer emergencies.

He's more of, all about taking his lunch break, because he likes to get out of the office.  But he doesn't want to lunch break alone, so he wants me to go.  So, I'm just like okay that's fine.  But I brought my lunch.

Now what?  I go to yoga after work... SO my lunch would sit in the car for an hour and spoil.

I bought a little cooler.  Now I can just put my lunch in the cooler and take it home for dinner.  Problem solved.  SO not only can I yoga to keep my wrists from hurting,  but I can also keep my lunch for dinner.

Life labyrinth 0, me 1.

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Saturday Workurday

So, I'm at home on this Saturday working on various things I need to get done.  I'm working on the following:

-Cover art for new tracks, working in photoshop on cover art for 2 new songs.

-Running the dishwasher (I run it once a week generally and hand wash in between).

-Working on things remotely at work, keeping my emails cleared.

-Stock research, everyone's talking bout Snapchat... They have negative earnings.  I don't invest in companies with negative earnings.  That's speculation.  Companies alliterative to SNAP that I do like?  Snap-On tools, Toro, Dr Pepper Snapple.  I plan to snap up shares of both Toro and Snap-On tools.  I've owned both in the past and stupidly sold for profits.  Now I'm kicking myself.  I keep waiting for the pull back that never comes.

-I have Word open and I'm working on my book.

-I have my music production software open and I'm working on other music related things.

-Dating site replies... I mean, you'd think I would have given up on this by now, but I guess I still have hope that one day... I mean I have a few friends that are like... "Oh I met my significant other on there!  It just took a LONG time."  SO, maybe it's just taking a long time?  Never know.  The day I disable my profile could have been the day that she finally signs up.  Then we missed each other by one day.  There's one girl I'm super close to going on a date with, that we've been chatting for a little while now.  Maybe something will come from that?  Never know!  Of course it's interesting because you talk forever usually, then finally go on a first date... and most of the time, the in person communication is nothing like what the online communication was.  And how you imagined the person is WAAAAY different from how their vibe is actually in person.  It's not bad, just different.  I hate meeting in person initially because I always imagine that the person is disappointed some how.  That's why second or third dates are better because you're over that initial shock of... the first date.  Which is why I'd rather meet someone in person, or date a friend.  Then you already KNOW each other.  That never happens though because everyone I know is already in relationships or married.  It's kind of hard to date someone if they aren't single!  That's kind of requirement number one when it comes to dating... Are both people single?  If no, you can't date each other... If yes, you can proceed to step two!  Kind of how it works.

-Replying to attorney emails about my mom's estate stuff.  We're still wrapping up things.  She had a lot of things.

-Making shopping list for grocery store

-Fixing broken things around the house.  Toilet ceramic cover chipped and I finally got the proper glue to glue the broken piece back on!  Woo Lowes.  (Another great stock I would choose over Snap Inc. hands down).  Lowes or Home Depot are both heavy hitting dividend aristocrats too.  And with lots of 20 and 30 something home buyers entering the market who want trendy run down homes in hipster areas of cities they can fix up themselves and Home Depot and Lowes stores have built stores just in perfect areas for city people to go buy supplies from.  Those two are a buy for me.  I hold Home Depot currently.

-Practicing guitar.

-Go to the gym later and the store.

-Just cleaned out the cat litter boxes.

Anyways, so yeah, my Saturdays are generally my stay at home and catch up and relax days.  I slept a good 12 hours last night.

Anyways but seriously I'm tightening down the budget hatches like crazy right now...

-I just paid 1500 bucks in property taxes.

-Need to replace my washer, dryer AND fridge.  That will cost me over 5 grand easy.

-I have to find a cat sitter and pay that person for when I go to Maine in June... Last year that cost me a good chunk of change.  I had over 3 thousand dollars in vet bills alone last year too.

-I have to pay my annual homeowner and car insurance.  So, that's a good 2 grand right there.

-My phone is an iPhone 5 that I bought back in like 2013.  I REALLY need to refresh that.  I want to buy one that I can fit all my music on and what not so that's another like 800 bucks right there.

-I'm going to need to make some house repairs, I need to hire a contractor to repoint the brickwork, I'm not sure how much that will cost but every time my mom had her contractor do anything it was a good couple grand at least.  Her final bill before she died was over 10 thousand dollars that was still owed to the contractor.  That was paid from her estate.

SO, spur of the moment Paris trip?  I wish.  Maybe some day.  I have too many other costs.  Plus my normal bills and groceries and fees for things like yoga and the gym?  And my co-pay for my dental cleaning that I have next week and things like that.

Plus I just don't have the energy for a spur of the moment Paris trip.  I mean, maybe because I have a house with 3 cats and what not.  Most nights the cats wake me up in the middle of the night so I never get a full night's sleep.  And the house is always making weird noises.  Don't know what THAT's all about?

Although this latest week since I didn't consume any alcohol and I went to yoga every night after work, I definitely felt a little boost in energy.

But still financially speaking, okay yes I COULD just book a random trip to Paris... But this money I've received from my mom's estate and the trust would dwindle and not be replenished.  Then my bank account would be back to zero.  And besides who wants to be that person who inherited money and then becomes the person who is talked about all like... "Oh, yeah, I heard they inherited money, but now it's all gone, it's a shame really.  Such a shame."

No thanks.  I want money that works for me, not money I have to work for.

Paris on a whim will have to wait.  For now I use my Saturday's to do work... SO, it's a Workurday to me.

Time to really hunker down and work hard.  There's music to be made, books to write, home repairs to be done.  Bills to be paid.  And 9-5 work to be completed.  And there's cats to tend to.


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One Thousand

Soooooo... I decided to challenge myself this month to stay in more, right?  Right.

Why?  Well, mostly because I was just wasting lots of money on stupid things like going out to bars hoping to meet the love of my life and all that... Which obviously did not happen.

Who knows where she is right now.

Anyways, SO, I decided okay I want to stay in more, do more work at my job remotely to stay ahead, go to yoga more and the gym more and just cook more meals at home and eat healthier and such...

Basically just stack the odds of being more successful in life going forward in my favor.

Well one of my challenges to myself was to see if I could keep my credit card bill for this billing cycle on the lower side.  I made it!  I actually kept it under a thousand dollars, which was basically my goal.

Of course today I just wrote and dropped off a check for the property taxes for my house, which sucks, but hey, the township uses it to run things.  So, it's fine.

But anyways I did make it successfully below my intended credit card budget of 1000 bucks.  Obviously I have other bills to pay... Water, gas and electric... Etc. etc.

I'm definitely going to keep with what I'm doing.  Stick with yoga and the gym and home cooked meals, and focus on trying to gear resources to replacing things around the house, and then as well I REALLY need to focus on making new music and such.  AND I want to upgrade my music software and also buy at least some kind of small drum set or something.

The goal is to focus on things that could possibly bring me success in life.

I guess maybe I've been putting the cart before the horse with love.  Everyone is like... "Oh you find it when you aren't looking..." And stuff like that.

Well, maybe I just need to be in a different place in life in order to meet her.  Maybe I need to be making a significantly higher pay grade.  Or maybe I need a crazy cool job title.  Or maybe I need to just move somewhere new.  Like sell this house, and get out of dodge so to speak.  Try a new city or town.

It's a lot easier to prepare for a big move and selling my house and maybe eventually looking for a new job in some brand new far off land/city if I just stay home and work hard.

I guess it's counter intuitive because you'd think by going out a lot I'd increase my odds of meeting that special someone.  But maybe she doesn't live in this area!  Maybe she lives far away.  And so I have to stay in, in the short term, and work hard, in order to move up to some other place in life... and THAT's how I'll meet her.

I mean, I don't know... You know?  Maybe that's not how I'll meet her.  I guess everyone meets someone in different ways.  Certainly you can't possibly know where to meet someone before you meet them, or there'd be no use for dating sites, or singles cruises, or singles social clubs, or speed dating... Etc. etc.

Because everyone could just dial in on where the person they are supposed to marry is and GPS the way to find love.

Doesn't work like that though.  It's like a casino... Or the lottery... Eventually, your number comes up.

But no one knows where or when.

So for now... I just focus on what I know I can accomplish and forget about meeting someone who may or may not ever even exist.  I mean, it's entirely possible that I never meet this love of my life.

But I KNOW that I can work hard at work, I can work out a lot, I can work on recording and creative things and I can work on my house.  It's not like if I go to Lowes, maybe I'll find paint.

If I go to Lowes... there will be paint.  No doubt about it.

And then my walls will have a nice fresh coat of paint on them after I paint them.

If I go out to a bar and waste money on beers and stand there trying to talk to women...  I'll be out money, it's bad for my health... And I'll still need to paint my walls.

It's just pointless and a waste of time TRYING to find her.

So, I need to focus on the fact that I can work on making new email accounts from home over the weekend.  And knowing that when I walk into work on Monday morning I can say... "Oh, that email account for that new staff member?  Yeah I did that over the weekend."

I can't 100 percent guarantee that no one is going to say... "You did that already?  You suck."

Never going to happen.  You will 100 percent of the time always get... "You did that already?  Sweet!  Wow.  Thanks!"

And then the person who was requesting the work to be done will be like... "Yeah, that's awesome."

SO, that's the new plan.  Hunker down... Stay in.  Give up on meeting that special someone as it's just a waste of time and money and effort that hasn't lead me to her as of yet, and probably won't ever lead me to her...

At least as far as the bar scene goes it won't.

But maybe hard work will and if that doesn't lead me to her either... I still get rewarded for it either way!

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Game On

Today was probably the easiest to get through of the entire week.

SO, to recap... My boss hasn't been in to work since Thursday, last Thursday.  As far as I know, I THINK he'll be back Monday.  This just leaves us down one of our team members.  So, there's the same amount of work, but less people to do the work.

Anyways, so what happens when you have the same amount of work but less people?  The people who remain have to do more work!

Actually, it's interesting... So, when I first started at my job we actually had the following:

3 IT Techs... This was what I was hired as, and basically it's still my title.  Even though I'm doing all the net admin stuff now account stuff... Server stuff... core stuff, firewall stuff.. Blah blah blah blah... Basically I do everything IT related.  Manage and design and deploy wireless APs and coordinate new cable runs.  Avaya phone system management... Who knows what else.  Create all email and blackboard accounts.  Remove them.  Troubleshoot spam blocking appliance issues.  Maintain server room things.  Maintain switch room things.  Help students with password resets.  Printer issues.  Lab software maintenance.  Etc. etc.  You name it... I do it. We're not specialized.  We just do it all from tier 1 to specialized hardware deployments of sensitive networking equipment.  I guess I just don't believe in the phrase "Not my job".  To me?  Everything is my job.  If the kitchen needs help with a cake mixer, and I know how it works?  Heck, I'm there!  Oh we also do security stuff do, like video stuff... I don't know, we just do it all.  iPhone support.  Whatever.  The bottom line is whatever it takes to see that the students are successful academically and that the professors can teach and the staff can support them.

So, 3 techs

1 helpdesk coordinator

1 director of IT

1 Phone guy

1 Instructional technology guy

1 VP of IT existed at one point as well

Now was have 2 techs, 1 helpdesk coordinator and 1 director.  We use a consulting company for some phone stuff...

And the college is bigger in size than when I first started.  They have a clinic for the pscyh department.  A second part of campus across the street that they purchased and an international language department that wasn't there before.

Anyways I guess since we've had the same core 3 people for a good almost 10 years now... With no turn over... We've just gotten to the point where we know it all very quickly and so we can support more faster.

The current situation is a bit extreme though.  I think honestly we should have 1 more guy including my boss.  But, it's tough to convince money people to spend money.  Money people never want to add more staff they love to take away though.

Which is a no brainer... It saves money.  Obviously.

But anyways I can do this fine for this week... But longer term?  Running the department with 1 coordinator and 2 techs isn't really sustainable.

It's certainly been an interesting week though...  I had to modify some habits though to be able to make it through...

What did I do to make it through a week down 33 percent of our core workforce of 3 people to two?

So first off I cut out my wine and beer treats.  That gave me more energy off the bat.

I went to yoga EVERY night.  That upped my energy more too... and it helps with managing wrist pain.  Helps a TON.

I went to bed earlier.  Also helps.

I double fisted my caffeine.  So, I made coffee AND tea... then sipped both throughout the day alternating between them.

Next, I made extra healthy dinners and also made fruit and veggie shakes.

By the time I got to today?  I was buzzing!

I'm just like... GAME ON!

But it got me thinking.... How fined tuned can I make myself?

And why stop even once my boss is back?

Why not just boost my own energy using health shakes, yoga, sleep, tea and coffee, cut out alcohol...

Basically, how this world kind of works is, it's a little like a competition.  Everyone is trying to make lots of money and find those coveted jobs that pay the most.

Obviously those jobs go to the smartest, the fastest, the people who have the energy and drive to go after those.

Polish a resume, stuff it full of 25 activities and degrees and volunteer things...

Just like... Imagine if you REALLY had something like what the guy in the movie Limitless had.  Like, unlimited energy and intelligence?

"Well, I did go to Yale, triple majored if I do say so myself.  Finished 2 masters degrees along with my 3 undergrad degrees.  I work 12 hours a day 7 days a week, volunteer, go to 4 gyms, and am the head of 8 community clubs... I'll be in Peru later this week to help starving local people and setup a food bank followed by France next week for an awards ceremony..."

Basically you're a robot.

What's weird though is, there are people like that!  I mean, if you've ever heard a graduation speaker... They usually sound like that.

It's some guy/girl who's on 12 boards and is the CEO of 5 nonprofits and for profit companies simulationsly.  He/she'll tell you how he skips rope 6 thousand skips every morning when she/he wakes up, drinks 12 cups of green tea and then makes a gallon size health smoothie all before 6 am.

And that's on 2 hours sleep he or she gets each night.

Most people work 9-5 and are pooped... and can barely just wash the dishes in their sink.

Actually, that was me.  It's crazy, so I'm in no way like those examples of the people who do 80 million things a day...

But I will say that cutting out alcohol, going to yoga every single night right after work, making a fruit and veggie smoothie, using tea and coffee to boost work performance...  I even went to the gym a couple of nights too.

Has made me feel a little bit more in that "go getter" category.  I'm certainly nothing like those graduation speaker people who tell the students their entire life story and it takes 50 hours for them just to get through the basic accomplishments.

So for now I think I'll say game on and continue to do lots of these more healthy things and see where it takes me!

I mean, I'm pretty sure it never hurts to improve or work on yourself.  And hey sometimes it takes your boss being out for a week suddenly to make you see that.

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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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