2015.06.23 – I Have No Idea What I’m Doing

I was working away this morning trying to finally work on a ticket. I would love to actually accomplish something while John is gone. I was reading about Named Users and trying to figure out how I add that audience type to the Uploader app. The day went along and it was getting well past lunchtime so Wayne and I decided to walk down to Market Square and see what we could eat. We were going to walk to a place about a mile and a half away but I didn’t want lunch to take too long.

We ended up at Chipotle since it’s quick and it’s good. Wayne ordered while I talked to Lauren for a bit. I noticed everyone’s phones making emergency notices though so when I hung up I checked mine and it said there was a flash flood warning for our area. Well we weren’t driving and we were in the middle of the city so no worries. It did not however occur to me that this most definitely meant rain. Yeah. While we were eating I got a message in Slack about an issue with the Uploader app. I am so new that I have no idea how to fix anything but I said I would take a look at it as soon as I got back from lunch. What the heck was I going to do? I guess try not to panic.

Now it was starting to rain so Wayne and I finished up as fast as we could and ran the several blocks back to our hotel and we were drenched! It was awful! I was even having an ok hair day. So much for that. But we made it back, I changed into PJs, grabbed my hot tea and settled in to work some more and try and figure out why Uploader reports weren’t being generated. I sent a test push and sure enough no reports. Had I understood how things completely worked before I would have noticed the lack of reports a lot sooner. There haven’t been any since June 17th. Meanwhile Misty figured out that the pushes had been scheduled and sent in spite of no report so that part is good at least. Now to figure out how to figure this out!

Andrew showed up at around 18:00 and it was time to go to the employee social at the new office space. Grant Street has leased the entire 14th floor including the rooftop patio areas and this would be most people’s first time seeing it. It’s SO nice! So, so nice. We mingled and had a really nice time and then headed to Proper Brick Oven with Daniel, Mary, Nolan and Brett. The pizza was fantastic as always and we had a nice time talking with everyone.

Today I learned that we have some really strange names for things at work.

2015.06.22 – Working from Hotel

Today I was up and at it since I’m working from the hotel this week. I wanted to destroy and rebuild the automated reports environments and make sure I had all of the file paths set up properly. I didn’t. I worked on that for a while and finally figured out how things should be. Yay! I did a lot of reading and exploring for the rest of the day.

Wayne and I did meet Mary for lunch. First we did the Allegheny Jail Tour that I have been trying to do for three years now. If not today it would be another year before I had a chance again. It was…underwhelming. But I can cross that off my list! We headed down to the Strip District to eat at our favorite Vietnamese place and of course they were closed. Mary suggested a Thai place she had heard about and it was nearby so we headed there and I am glad we did. It was great. Lots of vegan options. I even got a Thai tea with coconut milk. Yum!

We met John and Josh for dinner and decided on an Italian place nearby. The food was pretty good and we had a nice time. We all walked back to the hotel. John was meeting someone and Josh was going to call his family. We went up to the room and our friends Daniel and Mary let Andrew know they were on the rooftop of the place we had just left! They have a nice bar up there I guess. The three of us headed back down and hung out with them for a while.

I finished reading The Martian and it was great!

Today I learned that way back in the day the warden’s wife helped two murderer’s escape the jail. She was in love with one of them and they were to be hanged. I bet the warden wasn’t very happy about that. Apparently a movie was made about it.

2015.06.21 – GSG Summer Picnic 2015

None of us wanted to get up this morning so we took our time. We definitely wanted to get some breakfast before heading to the picnic though since food would be served as a late lunch or early dinner. Andrew messaged Tom Christiansen to see if he wanted to join us at Zenith. Andrew and I ate there on our trip here in January and it was great. Tom is vegetarian so it would be perfect. We met in the lobby and ran into several other GSGrs. The new DBA Brandon joined us and since we still had our rental car we drove everyone over. We got seated right away and had a great brunch. I got Tom and Brandon talking about unicode since I need more help understanding it. Fascinating.

After brunch we dropped off Tom and Brandon and drove out to Avis to return the car. Andrew summoned a Lyft to bring us back and he showed up in like three minutes. Always a great experience using Lyft.

We met up with more of Andrew’s co-workers in the lobby and then made our way out to where the buses were picking us up. We piled on and off we went to the usual venue for the picnic. It was nice to see everyone and to see all of the kids a year older. The food was pretty good and this year they had vegan cupcakes! Two kinds! My mind was blown 🙂

Lauren messaged me to let me know that Sean had crashed on his practice run and messed his leg up pretty badly. She was scared about the race and he was unsure if he was going to race. She messaged me a while later to let me know he did in fact race, crashed again and possibly broke his wrist. Ugh! She was taking him to urgent care. She messaged me even later to let me know it was definitely fractured and that he would have to see a specialist. He might be out of this race circuit for the year. Bummer. On a positive note he came in 7th!

After the picnic we headed back and the three of us were going to just take a short little nap but we ended up sleeping until nearly 23:00. So much for dinner or socializing. I thought we’d all have trouble sleeping after such long naps but we didn’t.

Today I learned that some languages don’t use spaces between words. Wha?!?

2015.06.20 – What an Adventure!

Well today didn’t go quite as planned. We were up early and Taylor was nice enough to drive us to the airport. Our flight was at 07:00 so he dropped us off about an hour early. Security was a breeze as usual and our flight was uneventful. We had a connection at Dulles so we landed and grabbed some lunch. We went back to the same burger place we ate at last week but this time I forgot to tell them we wanted black bean patties! Well we had so-so ‘burgers’ with no burger. Oooops! It was fine though because we’d be landing at PGH in time to go get dinner. We decided on some wood fired pizza from Proper Brick Oven. They always do a great job with vegan pizza for us. Our next flight boarded and we taxied out to the tarmac where we were informed that there was some sort of delay. No problem. This happened last week and we were only a little bit late getting home.

Weeeeeell it didn’t quite work out the same way.  We sat in the plane for an hour and a half before they took us back to the terminal. We sat there for a bit and then were informed that the flight was canceled! Oh, they rebooked us for 22:30 the next day! This was not going to work at all. Lots of other flights were getting canceled due to weather. It was pouring rain, lightning was intense, flash flood and tornado warnings. Soooo we decided to rent a car and drive the four hours to Pittsburgh. We found our bags, scooped up a car and hit the road. The radio was going nuts telling us to take cover and stay off the roads but we were headed west and the storm was moving east. We should be good right? It was awful! Poor Wayne drove and did a fantastic job.

We finally got to some clear weather and decided we should find some food before everything was closed. I had no idea where we were but I found a place on Yelp that sounded good and was open late. We ended up at Pistarro’s in Frederick Maryland. Funny we still got our vegan wood fired pizza and it was excellent! Too bad we’ll never find reason to be back in that city because I’d totally eat there again.

After we were sufficiently fed and Wayne filled up on caffeine we hit the road. It was a ridiculous drive with lots of torrential downpours along the way but we made it and rolled into town at about 02:00. Bleh!

Today I learned that plan b can be both fun and terrifying.

2015.06.19 – Completing My First Full Week at UA

Well I did it! I’ve worked a full week at Urban Airship and managed to survive without my boss. There weren’t any fires to put out though so It’s not a huge accomplishment. Will was out today so I couldn’t tell him what I was able to do with Vagrant and automated reports but that would keep. I had a nice lunch with Lisa and Julia. We went to a yummy place I hadn’t heard of before called Verde Cocina. It was great! I had to get home as soon as possible though because Wayne, Andrew, and I are catching a plane to Pittsburgh tomorrow for the summer picnic/work week. I hadn’t packed at all.

Today I learned a bit more about Redis

2015.06.18 – More Playing at Work

I’m still just working through various apps trying to figure out what they do. There is a lot of reading involved so not much to really talk about. It’s all very interesting but there is a lot, lot, LOT to learn. I was working from home but had a meeting scheduled with Will to learn about automated reports. We had a GoToMeeting uh…meeting and he walked me through getting things set up. He said I needed to have MySQL or Celery, Redis, Python and Virtualenv ready to go before hand. Well I have all of these things installed via Vagrant so I figured it would be sweet to set up a Vagrant instance for this walk through.

He called in the afternoon and I told him I was set up in Vagrant on CentOS. He was a bit unsure about this but we proceeded and things went pretty well at first but then some long command I was supposed to use wouldn’t work because the Vagrantfile was a level too deep in the directory structure. I said I could just move things around but he was unsure of this and suggested I just install MySQL on my local machine. So much for Vagrant and keeping things in a VM!

I got it installed and we started over. Things went well again and we got a bit further but ended up having some S3 error (something to do with Amazon Web Services) and we couldn’t get past it. He said he thought it was an issue with the version of Python and thought an older version would fix the issue but that downgrading seemed like a stupid resolution so we decided to pick this back up next week.

Meanwhile I decided to make this all work in the Vagrant instance! I was able to get it going pretty quickly and ended up at the same S3 error I was getting on my local machine so go me!

Today I learned that I’m getting a pretty good handle on Vagrant.

2015.06.17 – Working or Playing

Right now I just spend all of my time messing with things and figuring out what they are. It’s a lot of fun and feels more like playing than working. I’m not entirely sure what sort of timeline I’m on to get up to speed but I’m not stressing about that. I’m just exploring and hopefully learning a lot. It sure feels like I am.

Today I learned how to make something semi-complicated work from beginning to end. Whew!

2015.06.16 – Plodding Along

I’m pretty much on my own to just learn and explore what things are and how they work. I feel like I’m playing as I cram my head full of fascinating information. I got pretty stuck on something though and asked around for help. Each person I asked said they had no idea but would point me to someone else who also said they had no idea. Hmmm this was not going to work. I didn’t want to be stuck for the next two and a half weeks so I mentioned it to Adam when I saw him. He offered to help me with it at the end of the day if I was still stuck and I was. He sat in the hangar with me and I watched in awe as he worked through everything and figured out the issues. I want to be able to do that! Anyway I’m back on track so far.

Today I learned that Vagrant didn’t properly set up permissions and a vhost for Celery workers so I couldn’t get it running. I don’t know how I would have figured that out on my own.

2015.06.15 – Back to Work

I did not want to get up this morning but at the same time I was excited and nervous to go back to work. How would it be with my boss on vacation for three weeks? Would I be able to be productive all on my own?

I decided to take the Max so packed up my stuff and headed out the door. It was a beautiful morning. I love looking at our city as the train winds its way downtown. The 10ish block walk from the train to my office was really nice as well. I got all set back up at my desk and got to work on some paperwork I needed to finish for HR, signed up for the 401k plan and got my login working for the online paycheck site. Once I was logged in I saw that I had been paid. Nice! So far this job is surreal. I can’t wait to do a kick ass job for them. Right now I needed to get busy reading and learning though.

I don’t even know everything I read through during the day. Lots of things. I had forgotten how distracting Slack can be. It’s like a fancy version of IRC with all sorts of other features. I’m going to have to figure out how it fits in my workflow without completely sidetracking me. There are also a bajillion places to log in to and a butt-ton of documentation to read. Email is coming in all the while. Let’s see if I can remember most of the things I have to log in to or keep track of so far. Email, calendar, paycheck site, 401k site, box.net with multiple directories, Jive with tons of documentation – TONS, Jenkins tickets, Stash, github with over 800 repos, IRC, Slack, PagerDuty, JIRA, Chef, Vagrant, Redis, Celery, VPN, LDAP, the location of my desk, the location of the bathroom from said desk, all the people and the names and what they do at UA…..So many things. And it’s fucking amazing! I love, love, love all of the information I’m having to cram into my brain. It’s the best feeling.

I screwed around trying to get Vagrant up and running like John showed me on Friday but I kept getting some dumb error. I had been worried about deleting everything and starting over though. It was not working as is so finally I figured it couldn’t really make things worse so I deleted everything and started from the beginning. It all went really well until I needed to start the celery tasks. I keep getting some “connection refused by host” error on a certain port. I happened to be riding the Max home with someone from my pod so I asked him, Joe, about it. He said he hadn’t used Vagrant in a while though but told me who to ask in the morning. That’s progress I suppose.

Today I learned that I got my first paycheck! This might be real 🙂

2015.06.14 – Heading Home!

The conferences were lots of fun but we were so ready to be home. Our flight wasn’t until around 15:00 though so we didn’t have to rush. We got up, dressed and worked on packing before walking to a grocery store for some breakfast type food. We ended up getting bagels and hummus. I also grabbed four boxes of this tasty smoked tofu we can only get in Canada.

After we ate we decided to just grab a bus and wait at the airport with everyone else. Security and customs were a breeze and we were at our gate before we knew it. We talked with Steven, a really nice guy from Salem, Oregon who attends the monthly PLUG meeting. Our flights were fairly uneventful but for the 1.3 hour delay at Dulles. The pilot made up most of the lost time though and we landed only 20 minutes past our originally scheduled time. Sweet! I read The Martian the entire time. It’s SO good!

Wayne picked us up and it was so good to have my arms around him. I sure miss him when we travel. Luckily he’s coming with us on our trip to Pittsburgh in about a week! We ate a quick dinner of leftovers and headed to bed. As usual Wayne had clean sheets waiting for me. They were our new, really nice, bamboo sheets. Our bed felt amazing!

Today I learned about this interesting bit of physics.