Reflection

I recently read a blog post from someone about the beginning of her marriage and how they couldn’t be happier. The beginning of their relationship sounded so familiar. I believe they were in the “honeymoon phase” of their relationship at the time. I have fond memories of this time and miss it since having multiple children and our lives have gotten so busy. From what I have read, this is the phase of a relationship that usually lasts from 6 months to 2 years. We have all been in that phase of a relationship and it is amazing. I am not saying everyone’s relationships are doomed after this phase. I am basically just wanting to reflect back on that phase in my life since I am now past the 6 year mark of my relationship with my wife, Meghan. So I’m going to turn back time and reminisce a little.

Let’s start from the beginning. I was and still am quite a shy person. So I didn’t go actively looking for a relationship in high school or college. I always thought someone would stumble into my path and I could just focus on school. So needless to say, I didn’t have a long term relationship in high school or college. I will admit I did go on a few dates with a few lovely people but I was either overbearing or too afraid to fully commit to a relationship. I feel like those short relationships were put in my path to help prepare me for experiences later on in my life.

When I got out of college, I got a big boy job and moved in to an apartment with a good friend of mine. I still remember the details of the true beginning. The electricity (and a/c) in my apartment had went out so I was staying in a hotel for a night on July 2, 2011. I decided to try a new dating website (remember I am a shy person) called OKcupid while I was sitting in the hotel room. I made a profile and messaged a few matches. Well, Meghan was one of those matches. One of her friends had put her up to trying OKcupid a week before that. I had previously watched a documentary called The Business of Being Born. And I had seen on Meghan’s profile that she wanted to be a Doula, which is someone who helps with childbirth. So we hit it off talking about her aspirations in that field. Then once again since I am the shy person that I am, SHE asked if we could talk on the phone instead of the website. Then eventually we decided to go on a date and meet in person, after a mutual friend confirmed I was not a creep.

Our first date was on August 2, 2011. I picked her up at her house and got to meet her family who seemed a little anxious about her going on a date with someone she met online. She was beautiful and way out of my “league”. We went to go see Captain America and had dinner at Red Lobster at the Mall of Louisiana. I thanked the Lord for giving me the opportunity to meet her and I even prayed a blessing before we ate. I apparently made quite an impression. We both had a great time and we knew something special would happen between us. It was the best night of my life. I couldn’t even make it back home before I asked if we could go on a another date.

We went on many dates and it was all so romantic and perfect. I got to meet her daughter, Brynlee who had just turned 1. We spent all of our spare time together just like anyone would in their honeymoon phase. Due to my previous experiences, I was scared that I was being overbearing. She reassured me that this was not the case multiple times. We couldn’t get enough of each other. I remember picking out a ring and asking her parent’s permission while Meghan was at school one night. They were quick to say yes, but they did have some reservations shortly after. They wanted me to assure them Meghan would finish school. She is finally doing that this year actually! I am not sure what pushed me to the next step, but I remember the date.

On October 24, 2011, I proposed to Meghan at TownCentre in Baton Rouge. It was just a normal weekday after she got done with her classes for the night. I already had the ring and I just couldn’t wait any longer to pop the question. She said yes and the excitement and planning commenced. The next couple months moved very fast. We started looking at houses and locations for the wedding. We wanted a beach wedding even to the point where we had put a deposit down on a catering venue. But beach weddings come with exclusivity and we had trouble wanting to leave anyone out. So we decided to just have an extremely small wedding at our church.

We tied the knot on Monday, January 2, 2012 with our parents, grandparents and siblings. We then celebrated at Texas Roadhouse. We then went to Natchez for our short honeymoon. We moved into our house on January 20 of that same year. These were simpler times with just one child. We started learning things like getting used to living with each other and budgeting. I don’t know that a couple ever stops learning how to live with each other. We are still figuring things out six years later.

I don’t know exactly how long our honeymoon phase lasted, but many life events have happened since then. Bradley was born on September 4, 2012. Emily was born on July 21, 2014. Kenleigh was born on May 4, 2016. As you can tell, we had quite a pattern going but we have had enough so that pattern won’t be repeating anymore.

Marriage with little children has been difficult, but recalling the memories of how we started keeps me going. This post is long, but it is mainly for me to go back and reflect.

Microsoft Product Woes

I recently started rolling out some computers that came preloaded with Windows 10 Professional and Office 2016 Home & Business OEM. We rolled them out earlier this month and about a week ago all 4 of them lost the ability to use their Microsoft Office Applications. I don’t know if it was an Microsoft Office update or some other issue. I tried the Quick Repair and Online Repair and both failed. I tried uninstalling Microsoft Office and running all the clean-up utilities and still I was unable to reinstall Microsoft Office 2016. I was able to get a copy of Microsoft Office 2013 to install, but that doesn’t solve the issue. I worked with Dell and Microsoft for at least 8 hours each and none of them were able to resolve the issue either. Both companies ended the conversation with recommending a fresh Windows 10 install. That wasn’t going to work for us.

So we bought a few licenses of Office 365 Premium but even that would not install. We discovered that if we uninstalled our Kaspersky Endpoint Security that we could get Office 365 to install. Then we could reinstall Kaspersky. We were never able to get Microsoft Office 2016 Home & Business OEM to install. So hopefully Dell can refund us for those licenses. My coworker is contacting Kaspersky support to try to figure out what could be causing the Endpoint Security to not allow Office to install. I just wanted to share this in case someone else comes across this same “Perfect Storm” of software products and its associated woes

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Computer Brains

It has been an exciting year for computer brains or as they are more commonly known, CPUs or processors. Every computer has a processor or CPU, which stands for Central Processing Unit. Look down at your laptop or desktop and you will likely see an AMD or an Intel sticker on it somewhere. It more than likely has an Intel sticker since they have dominated the market for the last several years.

My early years in IT were spent working at Tim’s Computers in Baton Rouge. I eventually moved up to building custom PCs for the company which is my fondest memory there. I loved putting all the new computer parts together and getting to put my initials on the bottom of it. At that time Intel and AMD were fierce competitors, so I built a pretty even amount of computers using each CPU manufacturer. But at some point, Intel starting leaving AMD in the dust. I believe it was when they moved from the Pentium 4 and Pentium D to Core 2 Duo in 2007 and eventually Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 lineup in 2010. That was when the CPU fight stopped being about how fast the CPU runs, represented by GHz or Gigahertz, and more about how many cores and threads the CPU contains. AMD became mostly only relevant in the budget PC market. If you wanted to play video games, you bought a computer with an Intel Core CPU in it.

This year AMD has come out of ashes with its new Ryzen 3, 5 and 7 CPUs to compete with the Intel Core i3, i5, and i7. They have also released their Threadripper CPU lineup which is cheaper then Intel’s top of the line desktop CPUs and even out-performs them in some cases. Intel’s top available desktop CPU has 10 cores and costs a little over $1000. AMD’s top desktop CPU costs $999 and has 16 cores! AMD is even taking on Intel’s business market with their Epyc server CPU lineup which has been dominated by Intel Xeons for a very long time. AMD’s top Epyc processor will have 32 cores. We have left the days of dual core and quad core processors being top of the line!

New Adventure

I mentioned in my previous post that I started a new job last month. So I thought I would write a blog about my experience so far. This is my second “big boy” job. I have been working in IT for over eleven years now. Seven of those were at my first “big boy” job which I started right after I graduated from college. I was the IT Director at a company in Denham Springs, Louisiana which is also the city where I was raised. For many years I was the only IT person at that company. In that time the amount of end user devices in the field quadrupled due to industry changes and projects. I do not want to spend a whole lot of the talking about that job. I just want to say that the company and I went through a lot and we all learned a lot. I felt like I was getting stagnant in my career. I was not learning anything new and I was not furthering my knowledge. Needless to say, it was hard for me to say goodbye and still can’t believe I don’t work there anymore.

On to the focus of this blog post. The past four weeks have been a big adventure. I spent the first couple weeks in full-on training mode, where I literally worked in the office with my new boss trying to soak up as much as I can. I forgot how much time it takes to get used to a new place. Especially in IT, there are so many systems that are used and maintained that I still haven’t seen them all yet. The people and the atmosphere are great. I feel much more useful in this position because I am able to help users with their problems from start to finish. Previously I had to rely on an outside company to implement a fix to an issue even though I knew what was needed to fix it. I feel like an actual IT person now instead of a middleman. I love being given a project and researching and implementing a solution. That is what I get to do now! Overall, these first few weeks have been great!

Hello World…Again!

I decided to update my website today since I started a new job last month. After looking at my website that I created in February of 2011, I decided I needed to start a new one with WordPress since that is included with my GoDaddy Hosting Account and since WordPress is optimized for all end user devices. My old site wasn’t mobile friendly at all and did not have my current resume or a link to my LinkedIn profile. It also had links to really old projects that I had worked on years ago and that were not even accessible anymore. WordPress has a blog built in so I will try to write posts to document my endeavors at my new job and otherwise.