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Category Archives: Family

Anything that is a product of my husbandry, fatherhood, sonship, and brotherhood.

On a more regular basis I’d like to keep a stream of technical write ups, gaming news, theological thoughts, and or general “what’s going ons” with me and my family.  However with a work trip to Houston last week and general slap busy nature of my work since returning home; I’ve not had any time to collect some thoughts and formulate them into a blog post.  I want to hit some high points, and perhaps elaborate on them more in future posts.

High point #1 Samba DC

Ok, so people who have known me for any extended amount of time (from the age of 16 to 30) knows that I’m a Linux fan.  My work and lively hood mind you thrive around a Microsoft world, but I will never sell Linux short, nor fail to marvel at the amazing things that a thriving community of passionate individuals can create.  I also maintain a Linux server out of my home to manage DNS, DHCP, VOIP (TeamSpeak) and File sharing (NFS, iSCSI, and SMB).  I will also, on occasion, bring up outward facing game servers.  Just recently I decided to convert that server into a SAMBA DC for my, primarily, Windows 7 environment at home.

I run CentOS as my server distribution, which is a downstream of RHEL.  I’m running Samba version 3.5.4, at the time of this writing 3.6 is the latest stable release but didn’t offer enough improvements for me to go outside of my natively distributed yum version.

Also, aside from a few changes to the registry and local security policy that had to be made on the client side of the machines, the migration was fairly painless.

The first change resolves the issue of Windows 7 being able to find the domain for insertion, and the security policy solves the issue of Domain Trust at login.  It’s also wise to disable the password reset of the machine to DC to avoid potential relationship issues.  I’d not seen this issue myself, but until I see a confirmation it’s resolved (supposedly coming in samba 4) I’ll err to the side of caution.

My next step will be to integrate Open LDAP functionality into the DC, and an Apache http server.  I assume these will be fairly painless projects, but for risk of breaking my current domain environment I’ll need to wait till I have the time to deal with a potential ldap migration failure.  I also don’t have a strong enough list of pros for it since this is just a home network.  Mind you it’s more sophisticated than the average home network, it just seems a bit over engineered.  As for the Apache server, I really want to get back into some web development so I’d like the internal server for development purposes….

 

service httpd start

Ok, so now I’m running an Apache server off my server as well.  Linux is so hard.

 


 

High point #2 Admin Studio 10

So I was in Houston last week.  I’m now “officially” trained to use Admin Studio 10 for package (msi, app-v, xenapp, and thinapp) development, repackaging, and migration.

So what does that mean?

Well as most of you know I work with a product from Microsoft called SCCM.  One of the primary features of SCCM is application deployment.

So what is application deployment?

Simply put, it’s installing applications to multiple machines over a network.

Ok, I think I see.  So why would you need to do package development to deploy packages?

Well, you don’t have to.  One could feasibly shoehorn an installer given by a vendor, but ideally you want to build out a standardized installer or load for your company.  For us that means I’ll be building MSIs, MSTs, and App-v packages.  As well as isolating application installs that might otherwise break functionality of OTHER applications they share hard drive space with.

Wait, what?  Isolate, break, huh?

Almost all applications rely on libraries.  Think of them as a set of shared instructions that applications go to when asked what to do.  Well in most cases these libraries are shared by multiple applications.  And, sometimes one application wants a vanilla library, and another wants a chocolate.  Well these apps will fight, and one of them will win and another one will lose.  By isolating them I can give them what they want so they don’t break the system, or each other.

Our company will also leverage App-v packages which are essentially virtualized installs of these applications that, although they run locally on the machine, they are actually virtualized (or encapsulated) and are separate from the actual operating system.  Xenapp and Thinapp do the same thing.  I’m particularly excited about application virtualization, it can come with a bit of overhead, but it’s nice and contained.

Ok, I stopped caring somewhere around chocolate and vanilla.

Yea I figured as much.  Either way, it is a tangible notch to my hard skill set and I’m glad that I was able to get it done.

 


 

 High point #3 Gospel in Life

What does a Gospel centered life look like?

What does it mean to be in the world but not of the world?

Is the Gospel as narrow minded to culture as people often proclaim it to be?

What does a Gospel centered community look like?

These are part of the current bible study I’m involved in with my brothers and sisters in Christ called Gospel in Life by Timothy Keller. It’s a great study that forces you to take a look at your heart, your life, and your community and compare it to what and how it is defined in the Gospel. I would recommend this study to anyone who is a believer. Even if the information isn’t new to you, as most of it hasn’t been for me, it’s still food for the soul. A reminder of the higher purpose we are called to as Christians.

Truthfully, I’d encourage non-believers as well to read this study. If for nothing else, than to hold Christians accountable to the teachings that we claim to believe.

 


 

High Point #4 Ignoring my Family

I’ve taken way to long to blog this, and my wife has informed me that I should blog about how I’ve ignored my family, to blog.

When she’s right she’s right.  Thank God for her gentle reminders.

 


/begin spill

I’m not really sure where to start on this, but I feel compelled to talk about how incredible my wife is. 

She consistently supports me when I feel like I’m in over my head.  She allows me to lead, and remains respectful in her dissent.  She maintains and controls what would other wise be anarchy in the home.  She’s an amazing mother, nurturing, and disciplining in equal and proper proportion.  Selfless in her service to her family.  She seeks to find what it is that brings myself and her children the most joy, and works towards those ends.  Her love is a beautiful and humbling thing to behold. 

My wife has a bead on me, and is truly my best friend.  She challenges me to push beyond what I would normally settle for, and is continually used to temper and humble me.  She’s the one person I want to go to bed with, and the one person I want to wake up next to.  I can’t imagine being apart from her, or trying to face this world without her.

Do we fight?  Yes.  Do we always agree?  No.  Do we both love God and trust him to lead us?  Yes.  Do we face trials? Yes.  Does that matter?  Yes. 

God knows what he is doing, and he knew what he was doing when he brought us together.  It pains me greatly that knowing joy through my wife, and my children, I would so quickly have (and did at times) settled for less growing up.  It also makes me realize, this joy pails in comparison to that which I will feel when in the presence of our father.

/end spill

So our little Maggie moo has had to get splints for her hands to wear while she sleeps.  The purpose?  To encourage her to keep her hands open more often.  The result?  She won’t sleep, at all.  She’s been making a lot of progress and has been very responsive to her physical and occupational therapy, but she has clearly drawn a little baby line in the sand on this one.

On the bright side, it does appear she’s keeping her hands open more, so they are working.  They are also helping us all suffer from sleep deprivation.  Will, having returned from a previous week with Grandma’s (the week before my lan party which was on the 3rd) has finally started to normalize from the spoiling that went down.  I love when he gets to spend time with his extended family, but I loathe trying to get him back into alignment afterwards.  It’s usually not accomplished without me being a iron wall, which no parent truly wants to be with their child.  Poor Amanda hasn’t been as lucky in terms of his best behavior in my absence.  It appears that we are at the point of: “Just wait till your daddy gets home”.  He is our little man though and we love him, he’s tons of fun, full of humor.  Right now with Maggie’s therapy, we are certain he is feeling a bit neglected.  It’s hard to explain to a 3 year old why their sibling is getting more attention than them.

Pray for them both and my wife as well.  These are trying, stressful times for all of us.  There are days where we feel absolutely broken.  We are still blessed, but the world has a way of blinding you from that.


In other news, I’m officially doing OSD testing and building as of the past two weeks.  So another SCCM feature/function/tech that I’ve had the chance to use in an applicable fashion.  So far I’m enjoying it, the initial building and testing though is very time consuming.

I’ve mostly been toying with MDT then applying what I see/learn from there to my SCCM builds.  It’s interesting, but I will assume it becomes less intense after I configure a baseline.

I’m also down to (started at 178) 164 lbs now and down 2 pants sizes from my workout regiment and dietary change. 

That’s all I have for now, for this disjointed blog post.

So as some of you may or may not know.  My wife is conducting a 365 picture project this year.  What’s a 365 picture project?  Essentially take a pic of you, or something in your life for each day of the year and compile it all together at the end of the year to sort of journal everything.  It’s, as you can imagine, a lot of pictures being taken a day.  I would say on average she has 5 to 10 pictures taken a day.  Realistically speaking, some days it’s about 2, others it’s near 30 or more. 

 

Ok, great, why are you telling me this? 

 

Well, I’m glad you asked.  She would spend a lot of time sorting, renaming, and organizing them.  I’ve been telling her a long time “just automate it” which is something I tell her about almost everything she does that’s repetitive.  Well finally after a long night or sorting through some 100+ photos she called me on it, and had me write her a script to rename all the files for her.  I also had a chance to get to show her a bit of that “computer stuff” I do everyday at work. Also, it’s been a while since I’ve done a scripting post, so I’m using this. 🙂

I figured I would go with powershell since I would have (easier) access to the .NET System.IO.DirectoryInfo class.  One of the things my wife loves is chronological accuracy, so pulling a timestamp from the image as part of its name seemed like a good idea.  She already had a routine where she copied them from her camera to an appropriate folder so specific file information was the only real concern here so this was going to be a very simple script.  Below is the code:

 


PARAM([string]$FOLDER)
$ErrorActionPreference = "silentlycontinue"
if($FOLDER -eq "")
    {$FOLDER = Read-Host "Path to picture folder?"}
    $LIST = Get-ChildItem "$FOLDER\*" -Exclude *ps1 `
    -Include *jpg,*tiff,*jpeg,*gif,*bmp,*txt
            $X = 0
    ForEach($OBJECT in $LIST)
        {$EXTENSION = $OBJECT.ToString().Split("\") | Select -Last 1
            $EXTENSION = $EXTENSION.Split(".") | Select-Object -Last 1
              $FILEINFO = New-Object System.IO.DirectoryInfo($OBJECT)
                $NAME = $FILEINFO.LastWriteTime.GetDateTimeFormats() `
                | Select-Object -Index 99
                    $NAME = "$($NAME) ($($X)).$($EXTENSION)"
                        Write-Output $NAME
            Rename-Item -Path "$OBJECT" $NAME
            $X = $X+1
            }       


So what’s happening?

First we run this script, either by launching it directly, or by launching it on a command line followed by the folder where our pictures reside. The folder path is our only variable here, if one isn’t entered at the start of execution, it will prompt the user for one.

Now the script will build an object list of everything inside the folder taking special care to exclude any potential powershell scripts in the directory to the $LIST variable.  I also built it to specifically include image file types (I didn’t want to rename some random non-picture files she might be storing in the directory (well, and txt for my testing purposes)). 

Now we define an integer value to $X so we can enumerate it for a counter during our ForEach loop, which we begin next.

For each file in $LIST we:

  1. Grab the extension for the file to variable $EXTENSION
  2. Retrieve the last write time of the file and store it as $NAME
  3. Set $NAME to $NAME + $X + $EXTENSION
  4. Write the final $NAME to console
  5. Rename the item to $NAME
  6. Enumerate $X by 1
  7. Loop

The outcome?

 

I showed her the way it renamed a series of text files I had placed in a test folder on my laptop.  At first, I received a rather dismissive “Oh, that’s good babe” however after I sat down at her desk and showed her the bad boy in action renaming another folder of 100 or so images in seconds, the sly grin found it’s way across her face.  The joy of automation.  The kind you can only get when you see something so small perform such a mind numbing laborious task for you.

She’s not quite ready to learn scripting, but at least now her eyes are open to other possibilities for automated solutions in her everyday computing.  And as a stay at home mother of 2, I’m more than willing to help her streamline all her recreational and productive time at the keyboard.  She is after all, my number 1 customer ;).

I realize that sounds sort of, dark.  Generally thinking of the “aftermath”conjures thoughts of destruction and loss.  However, the only thing lost is another year of my life, but the gains were enjoyable!

Lets start with the presents (so far).  I’m going to start with the immediately tangible present my wife got me….  A nook color.

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Here’s the thing.  I’ve been itching to buy a tablet for a while.  I’ve also been itching for another e-reader besides my droid x.  I’ve also continually talked myself out of buying a nook and rooting it.

  1. It’s a great e-reader
  2. It’s android based
  3. It can be rooted into a full tablet
  4. It’s $250 dollars (half the price of standard tablets)

However:

  1. I own a droid-x
  2. I own multiple laptops 
  3. It’s $250 dollars

When I opened it though, the inner geek in me went into immediate conflict with the responsible adult in me.  So I spent all day deciding if I should open it, or return it.  In the end, the geek prevailed and the box was open and playtime ensued.  Will loved it immediately because of some preloaded children’s books with “read to me” functionality.  Especially the story of the elephant and the crocodile.  Which he had to read again this morning:

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After the kids went to bed though, Amanda and I sat down to watch a movie, while I of course watched the movie and rooted my nook at the same time.  By about midnight I had settled on and installed my image of choice.  Cyanogen mod 7, I chose this primarily because of sd expansion install and low to no risk of usage.  I do after all still enjoy the stock nook interface and features, so I didn’t want to blow it away.

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Sorry for poor quality shots, dark room, camera phone, bright screen….. No Buenos.  I’ve also greatly personalized the image since this shot, this was stock image.

Second gift

Apparently my wife has been a busy woman.  Sometime back in January she began coordinating with some of my old friends back home to throw me a 30th birthday LAN Party.  Yes, this is awesome to me.  Yes, I’m that nerdy.  Yes, she raised the bar on birthday surprises and I fear I shall forever fall woefully short for her. Sad smile

May 26 (211) internet safe

Third Gift

A completely decorated 30th birthday house before I got out of bed, and a banana pudding cake….

 

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So, I threw my diet a bit off yesterday.  With my birthday lunch and my banana pudding cake.  It was worth it though, now time to publish this and go ride my bike for about an hour.  God bless and have a good one!

Thanks to everyone for your birthday wishes as well (cards, etc).


Oops, almost forgot:

Keen Keen is streamlined for summer time!!!

May 24 (209)

Zoe and all her black fur is jealous!

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So my wife and I have been waiting for today.

No, it’s not a holiday or anything special like that.  Today is the day that we take our sweet little girl Maggie to her occupational therapist for review.  This is the day we find out the extent of her trauma from birth.  This is the day that we cling to God the tightest.

We are fearful of what we might find out, we are excited about being taught how best to work with our beautiful little girl.  In the end, God is enough.  We pray that what afflicts our daughter is manageable.  That her quality of life won’t be jeopardized by the news we find out today.  We know that all things to the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.  We know that His grace is sufficient.  We know that he is our strength and our portion forever.  So even though our flesh or our children or our jobs or our world may fail us.  He will not.

God will be glorified in no matter what comes from today, I pray that our daughter is healed for his name sake.  That we might proclaim his miraculous work through our daughter.

If you are reading this, please take some time today to pray for us. 

This is so much bigger than us.

 

-Daniel, a loving father


So it’s my 6 year anniversary with my beautiful and loving wife.  My helper, my bride, my best friend, my lover, and my rib.

Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. -Genesis 2:23-25

God has given me more than I could ever have hoped or prayed for in a mate, and I praise him for that.  Through every trial we’ve been through in the past year and are going through this year, I couldn’t imagine anyone better fit to keep me grounded in faith and love than my dear sweet Amanda.

This anniversary was a bit lack luster, we spent most of it doing stuff with our kids as opposed to focusing on us.  There is good reason for that, but I still want to take the time to at least voice my undying love for the woman whom I left behind my mother and father for and become one flesh with.

Happy Anniversary, may we reach 60!

Three years and five months ago we welcomed a beautiful little boy into this world.  I finally met him, but you knew him for at least 4 years and 2 months, effectively giving you two a 9 month lead on daddy.

will and mommy

And 8 months ago we welcomed in a beautiful sign of God’s grace and mercy into our life with our baby girl.  You’ve known her 1 year and 5 months, again a 9 month lead.

2011-02-08_08-19-10_279

You know our children, you love, in abundance, our children.  You carry on for them when I would break from the strain and you do it time and again.  You help me to keep them in and aware of the word of God and you intercede, respectfully, on behalf of our children when they need it.

2011-05-07_18-54-37_952

You love our God, and your role as a steward to our children so much that you have gladly abandoned what the world demands of a you.  Refusing to allow any inappropriate secondary influences take precedence in our children’s lives.  You inspire me to be a better father, as you inspire me to be a better husband, which inspires me to be a better man and Christian.

You care for me with a love and a heart that is greater than you even have for our children, and for that I give glory to God.  Our children don’t know it now, but one day they will realize how amazing their Mother is, and see her Father reflected in her.  In that way, they could have no better mother.

Happy mothers day baby.

 

2011-05-07_10-08-59_812

Here I am riding to find your present mommy!

2011-05-07_11-16-11_276

Here I am holding your presents from me my mommy!

And uh, this may not make sense yet, but it will.

shipped

I love you.


Recently we were told to take our 7 month old daughter Maggie to be reviewed for early intervention. She qualified! In all areas of development! It was like being hit with a sack of rocks. More so for my wife even than I. Our daughter nearly died during child birth, and was without decent oxygen and blood circulation before they successfully removed her. So to some end we knew that this might be possible, and we of course knew she was behind or not quite right on some of her milestones. However, having it there in your face is just overwhelming.

Fortunately through the state of Alabama and members of our faith family who are occupational therapists, we gathered a lot of great information and had a review conducted in our home for placement almost immediately after the initial review. We were told hand in hand is the one of the top early intervention places here in Alabama so we sought placement with them.

We trust God for everything.  He who promised is faithful, and if he has his eye on the sparrow we knew that he had his hands firmly rested on us.  That being said, Amanda and I spent a lot of time discussing in depth our Savior and then I placed the infamous question on my wife. 

“What if God is most glorified in our daughter being mentally handicapped?”

 


The Joy of a Husband {

I take my role as Spiritual leader in this house very seriously.  This was a time of necessary spiritual growth, and I was lead to, well, lead.  However, this was a time when I wanted to give my life up for my wife so she wouldn’t feel that pain of facing this realization!  We can’t place our joy in anything that is not eternal; our children included.  They are a blessing, and a source of joy, but inevitably we must fix ourselves firmly on our Savior. 

Though my flesh and my heart may fail me, the Lord is my strength and my portion forever.

It was a night of tears, prayer, and anguish.  Amanda continues to amaze me, she recognized immediately that she was more interested in the hand of blessing and not the hand itself.  The most amazing part of that to me, was she was MORE upset that she wasn’t loving God as she realized she should.

                   Wow. 

I continued to pray over my wife and daughter as she prayed for herself and for Maggie.

3 Amazing things happened:

  1. The following day our sister in law sent an email pouring her heart out to Amanda essentially discussing the exact same thing we had discussed in private the night before.  Also saying that she had felt compelled to pray for complete healing for Maggie, and was praying for our peace.  It’s worth mentioning no outward signs have been given regarding the emotional struggles my wife has been dealing with. –thank you Spirit-
  2. A few minutes after our prayer request went out for Maggie to be accepted into Hand in Hand, another email came in to let us know we were accepted into Hand in Hand.
  3. My wife felt the Spirit move and found Joy in seeing God at work in her life.  The word was alive and she now understands what it means to find Joy in God.  This of course, to me, is the greatest.
    The greatest Joy of a teacher is when their students can grasp it.  More importantly when that student is your best friend and greatest earthly love.  I’m so thankful God allowed me to be a part of that growth.

    } dnabsuH a fo yoJ ehT


So now where are we on Maggie? Hey, don’t you have a son too?

The Joy of a Father {

During the giggly bear’s evaluation (Maggie), they had marked her off for quite a few things.  Some of the more specific ones was not even attempting to mimic speech, using her hands around the midline, bring things to her mouth, lift up on her hands while on her belly.

So guess what she’s started doing?  Yea, and today while I was at work she apparently was using a sippy cup.. 

sippy cup

We aren’t where we need to be yet, but I have faith we will get there.


Now for my road dog (Will).  Will has a habit of grabbing phones and having long fake conversations with people.  Lately he’s become increasingly more upset that I go to work everyday.

“Why you go work air-day daddy?” “You go work day daddy?” “No, you no go work day daddy.”

It’s sweet, but it’s become something that grates on my nerves constantly explaining myself for keeping the lights on to my kid…

Anyway, today Amanda gave me a heads up that he was pretending to talk to me on her cell phone over messenger.  So I stopped what I was doing and dialed her cell phone and had a (surprisingly) lengthy conversation (well for a 3 year old) on the phone.  As I hung up the phone and I heard:

“Ok, I go now, I love you very much daddy”

… there aren’t words.  Seeing my son grow, seeing his love, his personality, and now starting to see signs of his grasping of the Gospel….. As we were pulling into the neighborhood the other night from who knows where hearing that little voice:

“Mommy, Jesus loves you, and he loves me too.”

                   ….. The prayer that my son will one day be my brother ….

talkin to daddy

…….We’re working on it!

} rethaF a fo yoJ