Windows Server 2012 First Impression

So I took the frowny-face’s advice and searched for the HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED error. As it turns out, this error occurs because Server 2012 will not install on ESXi 4.1. Looks like we won’t be running any Server 2012 for a while then! I’ll just have to play with it on my VMware Workstation 9 install.

Villa del Sol Mexican Restaurant

On Sunday, August 19th 2012, the Isom family embarked on a mission of discovery and exploration. We decided to check out the new Mexican restaurant that opened up in Merrillville on the corner of Rt 30 and Taft called Villa del Sol. The previous Mexican restaurant that occupied this building was pretty dark, dingy and overall terrible. It didn’t last long. I didn’t have very high expectations, but I was willing to give it a try. Here’s what the family had to say about it:

And if that patio wasn’t enough, then you had to check out some of the wood carving art that was for sale throughout the restaurant. I’m pretty sure Tim is going to cough up the $2500 to purchase this one.

Deck Demolition

This summer we have decided to reclaim 3/4 of our yard by obliterating the swimming pool. Why bother keeping up a pool here when Jenn’s mother has a far nicer in-ground pool only 2 minutes away. I’ve already drained the pool and started dismantling the frame, but one extremely large thing stands in my way: the deck.

I started out by pulling nails and removing each board one at a time. While nice and tidy (and devoid of nail hazards) it was going to take me forever to dismantle the deck that way. Today I decided to take a different approach. His name is Milwaukee but you can call him Mr. Sawzall.
The deck is coming apart considerably faster now.

Hopefully I’ll have it down by the end of next weekend. I’m going to need to get more saw blades…

I Gave it 103 Percent!

NIPSCO seems to think I use an inordinate amount of electricity

So NIPSCO (our local utility monopoly) sends out these cool things that tell you your energy consumption relative to your neighbors. Well I’m proud to say that I scored 103% higher than my neighbors on electricity! I guess that’s what happens when you run your own web server and two Active Directory domain controllers virtualized on an ESXi 5.0 host, a Windows 2003 file server with over 3 terabytes of attached storage, an Exchange 2010 server, an HP 5300 series modular core switch, an Astaro / Sophos enterprise class firewall and a multi-VLAN network capable of keeping your guest network separate so that your neighbor who is using your wireless can get to the internet without touching your home network. That’s not to mention any of the small appliance-type things that round out my technical infrastructure such as my Cisco 1131 wireless access point, a Vonage analog telephone adapter, the cable modem, several large fans to keep the corner that my servers are in supplied with cool air, a satellite receiver with built-in DVR, oh and the stupid ink-jet printer that my wife insisted on having. (I preferred my HP LaserJet 4100, but she wanted color…)

So you see… Information Technology isn’t a job… it’s a lifestyle.

Pro Tip #4

Scenario: You pull up to a strange gas station in the middle of a corn field somewhere in Ohio. You grab one of the nozzles from the pump, and remark under your breath how these hicks still use these ancient, huge pump nozzles that were likely used for leaded fuels. Then you swipe your credit card, hoping that this isolated hick-town gas station has seen a credit card before. Then you select the 93 Octane button and squeeze the pump handle, because your Harley touring bike deserves nothing but the best.

Tip: When the pump fails to start pumping and still tells you that you need to select a fuel grade, don’t start cursing the pump with the most foul language ever uttered in a corn field for the supposed malfunction. Instead take a step back, take the time to read words, and realize that this “malfunction” just prevented you from filling the tank of your Harley Davidson with diesel fuel.

Pro Tip #3

Windows Phone 7, Exchange ActiveSync and error 85010014:

If you recently set a user’s password to expire so that they have to change it upon their next login, and you’re setting up their email account on a new Windows phone at the same time, you might get ActiveSync error 85010014.

Hint: It’s because you set their password to expire, dipshit!

I spent far too long reading troubleshooting guides before I figured that one out.
Hopefully this post will spare someone the same fate.

Pro Tip #2

When HBO On Demand says that their recorded content expires on 07/31, and you’re watching it as it transitions from 07/31 to 08/01, they’re not kidding. It expires. It stops playing at the stroke of midnight. Oh, but they put it back up with an expiration of 01/01. So now you have to re-download the whole fucking hour long show to watch the last 3 minutes of it.

Serious case of fucktarditis. Who in the hell thought that one up? Probably some assmunch lawyer.