Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday 09-20-16

I'm just posting a short update today in between calls..

I think my coworker felt bad about asking me to take that STAT call yesterday morning after it turned into a major pain in the rear, so he treated me to lunch today. Things do tend to even out - at least some of the time.

We're planning on going out to dinner tonight when I get home, so I hope lunch has settled somewhat by then. If not, there's always the take-home boxes for later in the week! LOL

Hopefully I'll be able to get a bit more done on the upcoming Chapter 6 of the T.N.A. saga.

Well, back to work....

Monday, September 19, 2016

Update 09-19-16

Well, here it is Monday again… And today has certainly been – Monday. Today I came just about as close as I ever have to going Kylo Ren on somebody (for those of you who have not seen the latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, this would be the lightsaber equivalent of going postal… Those who have seen the movie will know what I mean).

As part of my company's, contractual obligations with Children's Mercy Hospital, we service anywhere from 1400 to 2000 HP printers at several locations around the area. We are obligated to service these printers from 7:00 in the morning until 5:30 in the afternoon. My coworker comes in at 7:00AM and leaves at 3:30PM. I come in from 9:00AM to 5:30PM. There is a specific reason for this shifted schedule. There are three basic levels of priority concerning servicing these printers. There is a normal or low priority in which you have anywhere from a couple of days to a week to get the issue resolved. Next up is a high priority, in which the problem has to be resolved within eight hours. The highest priority on the list is a STAT call, which has to be resolved within a two hour window. Note that I said resolved – not just looked at, but resolved.

This morning, just after 8:00 AM, an email came in on my company phone. There was a STAT call at the facility in Overland Park. At approximately 8:08 AM – as I was getting ready to leave for work – my phone rang. It was my coworker informing me I needed to head straight out to the Overland Park facility first thing. Now I may be looking at this in the wrong light, but it seems to me like the whole reason behind him going in two hours early is to take STAT calls that come in before 9 o'clock – not just pick up the phone and ask me to take them.

I could go into a whole lot of additional details, but I'll suffice it to say I was less than enthused about the situation. I was even more aggravated when I had to drive all the way back to the main hospital to pick up another printer to replace the one in Overland Park. Then, to add to my irritation, the printer I took with me did not work when I installed it. This entailed yet another trip back to the main hospital to pick up another printer. This little episode took me until 2 o'clock in the afternoon to get resolved – well outside of the two-hour window. And on top of that, about 140 miles of driving – and a 10 minute lunch. 

Anyway, now that I've started off with a big long negative epistle, I'll do a couple of quick updates on more positive things.

I did get my electrical problems all taken care of. The new circuit breaker arrived, and last weekend I replaced it. Everything is now working fine on that side of the house. I think I also mentioned in my last entry that I got the sound back on my main computer. I'm still thinking very seriously about replacing this old machine in the near future.

In other news, I'm still playing around with DAZ studio, and really enjoying the renders I'm getting. As I noted my last post, the render times seem to be quite long for a scene with any complication at all – as in several lights, a large scene with many props, or multiple figures. I love it, but I probably won't be doing any complicated T.N.A. renders with it. I'll stick to Poser for those.

Well, this is gone on long enough so I'll bring this entry to a close, and hopefully be in a better mood and post something a little bit more positive next time. Have a good week, everyone!

Monday, September 05, 2016

Update 09-05-16

Okay, after a bit of a break, it's time for another update. Obviously, my website is back up and working properly. It took Go Daddy several days to get their act together, and I was on the verge of telling them to stuff it and going ahead and finding another hosting service. But I'll stick with them for the time being – hopefully things will remain as stable as they've been the last couple weeks. With the website, I mean...

Otherwise, things have been pretty crazy lately. Last weekend, we had a lightning strike somewhere out back, and it took out a circuit breaker that controls the whole south side of the house. All the sockets on the front wall of the living room and kitchen are now out of commission. I checked the circuit breaker that controls that circuit, and it had activated. When I tried to push it back in, it just kept kicking back out. It's an older type of circuit breaker called a pushmatic, and they are not easy to find. I had to end up ordering one online. Hopefully, it will be here sometime this week, and hopefully the problem is actually the circuit breaker. If not, I guess I'll have to do more troubleshooting and see what shorted out.

In addition to that, for some screwy reason it also knocked out the sound on this computer. Strangely enough, I could still dictate with Dragon, but there just wasn't any sound. I even tried getting one of those little USB sound dongles from Micro Center – that didn't even work. Then today, my subscription to AVG antivirus had one day left before it expired. I had already made up my mind I wasn't going to renew it, and just use Microsoft security essentials which I have on a couple other computers, and it works fine.

After replacing AVG with Microsoft security essentials, for some reason, the sound came back. But the sound quality is not nearly as good as it used to be. There's lots of distortion, and I still think the lightning strike did some sort of damage. I'm wanting to replace this computer, anyway – it's several years old and has numerous problems. Once I replace it, I will probably rebuild it as a security computer and web cam server.

I've been doing some playing around with DAZ studio 4.9, and I'm really enjoying the renders I'm getting, although I've noticed it takes a long time to do a sizable render with any kind of detail. I just did one today at about 2500 pixels by 1400 or so pixels. There was one figure, an interior room prop, and three lights: a distant light to simulate moonlight, a point light in the ceiling, and a spotlight to the side. It took over seven hours to do that render! It looks awesome, but obviously I won't be using DAZ for some of my complicated scenes for the T.N.A. story.

Speaking of which, I've taken a short break to do some writing on chapter 6, and I'm also working on creating a short trailer for chapter 6. I'm hoping to start posting the first chapter 6, pages on or around October 1.

Well, here it is Monday already, and I'm sitting on the tail end of a three-day weekend… Why do they go so freaking fast? So it's back to work tomorrow fixing printers, and lugging them all over Children's Mercy Hospital.

For now, I'm gonna go ahead and sign off, but I'm still working on keeping this blog updated more often. See you next time!