Updates

Well, some good things, some bad things, some in between I guess.

I did finish one of my training courses, but I have lots and lots of them to go. Sometimes I feel they’re really helping, other times I sit and stare at my computer and wonder how in the heck I’m supposed to make what I’ve learned work. I keep hoping the information will drop into my practical knowledge repository somehow, but so far…

With everything I’ve been doing for work, I’m not writing. Anything. At all. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a chance. It will likely be a lot longer before I get one, too. I’m worried about my job. I feel like I’m on my way to becoming a victim of The Peter Principle. The problem with that is, I don’t have a level down I can drop.

I pray a lot. See above. ‘Nuff said.

I also had to stay up until 3AM both Friday and Saturday, watching a problem unfold with our nightly macros. When I try to run them manually, I have no issues. When they run through the automated process, they don’t work correctly. I’ve been reminded the way this runs is thusly:

A Windows Server scheduled task is set to open an Excel spreadsheet which contains an Autoexec macro.

The Autoexec macro calls a second spreadsheet which contains another macro which is executed.

The second spreadsheet now calls a Microsoft Access database, which also has Visual Basic for Application code written in one of its programming modules. That module then launches a routine which: executes an import of a text file, runs a screen-scrape of a mainframe emulator against some data in the newly imported text file and updates our orders, then puts the orders which were mismatched, not processed, and successfully processed into three separate tables in the database.

Whew! So, when something goes wrong with this routine, my predecessor is quick to point out he didn’t write the application. I didn’t either, but I have to try and fix it. See the Peter Principle statement above. I’m over my head on this, and have to find a way to fix it.

Did I mention it’s not consistent? Yeah, that’s fun. The problem comes and goes. Saturday night it ran fine. Friday night not. I don’t get it and don’t know what to do.

Well, enough whining. The upside is, I spent some fun time with my kids this weekend just hanging out and watching them play and stuff. I got to put up some additional Halloween decorations with them, and enjoyed them a lot. I didn’t sleep a lot, which was my plan initially, but I had a good time. I made some progress in a second video course on Visual Basic .NET too, which is good. I’m almost halfway through that one. When I finish it, I’ll be on to ASP.NET to reinforce some of what I’m learning in the boss-provided training I finished. Then on to Language INtegrated Query (LINQ) for VB.NET. Some day, I’d like to learn C#, but for now, there simply isn’t time in my deadlines. I’m supposed to have 75% of the projects I’ve been assigned done early or on time and right now, that’s not happening. But a guy can dream. And I really like the training courses I’ve chosen. I feel they’re a good vehicle to learn for me, because I get to watch stuff as well as hear it. If I could just get myself to work through the examples, I’d be all good.

Thanks for letting me vent, and have a great week. I’ll talk to you again when I can.

-jdt-

Painful Rounds

I’ve been to a few blogs over the last couple of days to find people I dind’t expect to reveal their pain revealing their pain.

Seems the world has been less than kind to a lot of people recently, and while a few I know seem to make a habit out of stepping into a barrel full of scat and coming out smelling like a rose, it’s been sort of eye-opening for me to find most people are as vulnerable to pain and suffering as I am. I guess misery really does love company.

Not that I’m wishing anything but good fortune on those I see and follow. In the blogosphere, the only real friends I have, I don’t like finding out how much agony there is. I pray for them when I know they’re hurting, but I’m learning a lot about prayer right now and well… I don’t know.

How about the faithful readers and commentators here? Any of you have something bothering you you’d like to unload? Anything hurting you right now, keeping the smile from your face, keeping the spring out of your step? Or maybe it’s more serious and is weighing heavy on your heart. Dragging you under, so to speak.

You’ve all been good to me, now I want to try and return the favor.

This is your thread. I’m not going to answer, but for everyone who leaves a little bit of their pain here, a little piece of your heart laid bare and hurting here, I’ll be praying over the weekend for you.

It’s all I can offer to do to help you, if that matters to you, and it’s the least I can do for those for whom I have cared so much.

Sound off if you’re of a mind to. And God bless.

-JDT-

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Stressful Day

Stress Reduction Kit

Yesterday was a high-stress affair for me.

I can’t get into the specifics, but suffice to say I worked myself into a complete froth over what will likely be nothing yesterday.  I spilled some of that stress over onto my wife and kids, unfortunately, but they all seemed not to notice.  (I’m not sure how to take that.)

My wife did ask a couple of times if I was okay.  When I told her no, I most certainly was not okay, she asked why.  When I tried to explain ….

I realized how stupid I was being almost immediately.  But man, I couldn’t help it.  I just kept right on being stressed, being frazzled, being worried.  Today, I’m still feeling that way a little.  I played with the kids some and they did great.  I feel bad for being snappy at everyone (which is the sign I’m under some sort of duress), and want to make it up to them today.  I figure some good, quality play time with the kids and pitching in to help Falcon get some computer- and relaxation-time will somewhat atone for my sins, but she’s really lousy at letting me make things up to her.  Here’s hoping.

No one got mad.  No one even said anything.  I spent time addressing one of the areas of stress with Falcon and praying about a big decision causing the stress, and afterward, felt a little better.  Sent an email, did some research … ah, that’s better.  Not relieved of the stress, but it’s manageable from here.

Of course, nothing’s changed in my situation.  I still am not working, and the uncertainties of that remain.  But now I feel today is a day when I can look at a couple of things and take care of them, and get myself into a better place.  I hope.

How about you?  How do you manage your stress, your tough emotional times when you feel caught between a rock and a hard place?  What’s your trick for getting out of the vicious cycle of worry and hand-wringing?

Any tips, greatly appreciated.

-JDT-

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A Serious Moment

UPDATE:  Fantastic news from the hospital.  Fal’s friend is doing fine and news is as good as can be hoped for.  God bless you all for your prayers and kindness.  We’re very relieved and thankful to God our Almighty Father and Lord Jesus Christ for His blessing today, and the blessing each of you are.

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My wife has a close and loving friend going into the hospital for surgery today.  She’s been nothing but a blessing to us in the hardest of times, the most trying of ordeals, and her support of us never waivered, never faltered, never slipped.  She never doubted us when the rest of the world turned their backs on us, and she defends and protects us from people trying to hunt us down even now.

If you’re a praying person, please take a moment today to pray for her full and speedy recovery.  I won’t do this often, but when it’s something this serious and for someone this faithful as a friend, I have to.

And if you’re not a praying person, any good thoughts you can spare are appreciated.

Thanks everyone, and have a great weekend.

-JDT-