Between work, studying, tinkering and trying to have something close to being considered “a life”, I haven’t been blogging much lately. And every time I get close to having that magical, mythical thing called “a life”, I have to travel. I can’t complain, since it gives me new perspectives on “life”, which help me to feel like I have “a life”.
And speaking of travel, here’s a cheap diagrammatic view of how I roll (literally, since my suitcase does in fact have wheels)…
This is just the backpack. I also didn’t include tampons, whips, chains, hand grenades, latex gloves, surgical masks, or bags of unmarked pills. Those tend to slow me down with TSA, and I’d rather they spend most of their time with their hands around my privates. If I touch myself in public it looks unsettling, but when they do it for me, it’s professionalism at its best, and they love it when I smile during the procedure.
Speaking of TSA, I’ve found that the passive aggressive score follows the scale of the airport, at least in the U.S. Meaning, the bigger the airport, the less humor they tolerate. The friendliest bunch I’ve encountered would be Medford, Oregon (MFR), and the other end of the scale would be Boston (BOS). I love Boston. The TSA have a consistent and warm way of welcoming travelers to bean town with that glaring “I’ll stomp your face in if you make eye contact for more than 5 seconds!”
I’ve also been updating some PowerShell-related projects. I have always maintained personal project time to keep my sanity. It also makes my dog want my attention more. She leaves me little gifts to express how much she misses my attention. And at 95 lbs, the size of those gifts can almost clog the toilet.
Here’s a few examples of what too much caffeine, too much vlog watching, and access to PowerPoint will do to someone like me, a latent marketing student. I’m just kidding, I would’ve gone into statistics as a “statistician” but it’s too difficult to pronounce after 3 or 4 beers, and the pay doesn’t come close to most IT related jobs.
They almost look professional. And almost as if I know what I’m doing. Cooked up with only a frying pan, a little butter, some chunks of PowerPoint and sprinkled with Paint.Net. All four took a whopping hour to create. The pencil was the most fun. I highly recommend the shape tools (Boolean stuff, like Union, Subtract, etc.), you can spend hours immersed in that strange world, forgetting to shave and bathe too.
You can find the rest of this exciting stuff at https://www.powershellgallery.com/profiles/skatterbrainz/ – where I publish things I almost know how to do. CMBuild is still in beta, so if you get really, really, reeeeeeally bored, and you have a lab environment in which to try things like this – feel free to post angry, hurtful, mocking and demoralizing comments and bug reports. The more condescending the better. My doctor enjoys this too. The visits for medication help his kids through another semester at medical school, and I don’t want to let him down.
I forgot to mention that MFR, while being a very small airport, also has some really nice artwork on the walls around baggage claim…
Approaching Norfolk (ORF), the most dynamic and interesting place for underpaid IT professionals…
Leaving San Fran (SFO). The most dynamic and interesting place for well-paid IT professionals who can’t afford to live there…
Getting ready to board my next flight. I have the window seat just behind the wing…
Back in my office…
In the past month, I’ve been dunked into projects involving a variety of different beatings, I mean challenges.
- 2 involving MDT+Windows 10 with distributed/replicated MDT deployment shares. One using DFS and the other using Nasuni, for the replication service. Both worked out very well.
- 2 involving Office 365 ProPlus. One mixing C2R Office with MSI Visio and Project. The other mixing C2R Office using O365/AzureAD licensing, with C2R Visio/Project using KMS licensing. Neither was that difficult, but I did come away with a continued wonder and amazement at how something so simple (C2R deployments) could be left half-baked by Microsoft and nobody seems to care.
- 3 involving Configuration Manager. 1 focused on SUP strategies for servers. 1 focused on being a crying shoulder for an overloaded admin and under-give-a-shit managers. 1 focused on replacing some horrific mess some other (independent) consultant attempted while in between binges of drinking and glue sniffing.
The rest of the time has been Azure, Intune, O365, PowerShell, PowerShell with Azure AD, PowerShell with Intune, PowerShell with System Center, System Center with PowerShell, PowerShell with PowerShell, and a little bit of PowerShell. I’d think by now I’d know something about PowerShell, but I’m not going to pat myself on the back just yet.
Our geographic region seems to have very few IT-related user groups with regards to the population of professionals. We do have a few, such as groups for Docker, SQL Server, .NET, Machine Learning/AI, and a few others. So, I’ve been trying once again (third time) to get a Microsoft-related group off the ground. And I’m happy to say it’s actually starting to get off the ground! It’s called Hampton Roads Cloud Users Group. “HRCloudGroup” on Slack, and Facebook.
For those not familiar with this interesting little area, it’s officially comprised of 7 cities in the southeastern corner of Virginia, at the North Carolina border. Mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. But the actual list of surround municipalities include Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Suffolk, Surry, and Smithfield. There’s also a large number of people who commute from North Carolina to jobs in this area, so it extends beyond Virginia.
Some call it “Tidewater”, which is a stupid name. Some call it “Hampton Roads”, which is a less stupid name. Some call it “that shitty place I hated being stationed at while in the Navy/Marines/Air Force/Army/Coast Guard/CIA/FBI/NSA/DEA/NATO…” eh, you get the idea. I would venture to say it is the most militarized area of land in the United States, maybe in the world. Every branch of military, intelligence, logistics, special operations, tactical operations, is located within a small enough radius to be a ridiculously appealing target for Russian satellites. My house, is under the flight path between Little Creek JEB (SEAL team 6 or DEVGRU), Fort Story and Oceana NAS. I can name the fighter jet, cargo plane, or helicopter models by sound alone. I just haven’t found a way to earn a living doing that yet.
Enough Rambo talk. Our group is still very small, at about a dozen members, with about 4 or 5 people attending the monthly meet-ups so far, we’ve been fortunate to get some very skilled, very creative members, so I couldn’t be happier. I feel like my role is more of a facilitator than a leader. The others have way more experience than I at this point, so I’m happy to just connect the wires and keep the engine running, and learn what I can along the way. We’ve only had 2 meet-ups so far, but I’m optimistic. Our next one is December 14, 2017 at 6pm. If you live in the area, hit us up.
As if the entire blog post isn’t already “miscellaneous”. Shit, my whole life is “miscellaneous” when I get down to it. But who’s complaining? Okay, I do from time to time. Anyhow, shotgun blast…
- PlatyPS is cool. Once you remember to actually put comments in the right places and import the module before running New-MarkdownHelp for fifth time and cursing at the monitor for not reading my my mind.
- Carbon is still cool. Even cooler.
- The Tesla semi is freaking awesome. The Roadster is obviously cool as well. I can afford neither.
- I had my first MSATA failure today. A Lite On 256 GB card in my HP Elitebook. RIP. It was nice having you while you lasted.
- Shout out to Whitner’s BBQ in Virginia Beach. Still the best I’ve had anywhere I’ve traveled, and it’s right in my backyard.
- Shout out to the group of kids who yelled across the busy street “I like your chocolate dog!!” She loved it too.
- I need fish food for the aquarium. Off to the stores on a Saturday. Wish me luck.
Chocolate dog. Aka “Dory”