Hi Astronauts!

So, I do this thing. I go outside at night to spot satellites.

Tonight, I went out with my tea and a plan to spot at least one satellite, despite a wicked bright moon, before bed.

I spotted one right off. It was really bright, the brightest I’ve seen. And it was moving really fast, too fast to be a plane. I yelled for Quinn and told him the International Space Station was passing by.

We waved at the astronauts, I spotted another three satellites (one flared twice!), and we called it a night after the kids yelled at us.

If you want to see the ISS, check here. Spot the station will give you times it will pass overhead!

In which Quinn is thwarted

Me: When this cup is completely empty, I will get ready for the day.

Quinn: Really?

Quinn: <casually gets up, stretches, starts walking towards me>

Me: <grabs the cup>

Him: <stares at me>

Me: <takes a little sip>

Him & Me: STAREDOWN

Him: WHAT?

Me: I can’t tell if you are going to take my cup and dump it out or not.

Him: <laughing>DAMMIT!

My almost empty coffee cup

Sactional Review, revisited

It has been close to three years since I wrote my original Lovesac Sactional review, so I figured this would be a good time for an update to the review.

We still have the original pieces, plus we’ve added some more: a couple of more bases and backs to make a pair of armless chairs for the dining room, plus a third base for the original ‘couch’ in the living room to make an ‘L’.

  • Our covers have (mostly) held up well.
    • We’ve run some of the covers through the wash a couple of times in order to clean some stairs and general dirt – try that with a regular sewn-on cover!
    • One cover has a thread that started to come out, but it didn’t keep unthreading – it has been stable for a year.  I try to keep that cover away from the heaviest-used sections.
    • We’ve been considering buying a different style of cover, and a bit darker; the standard cover can be a little rough after a while, and the light color that we got shows off dirt.  But oh, the cost!  We’re keeping an eye on sales, which seem to come up periodically.
  • We definitely tell which cushions are newer, as they’re firmer.
    • The cushions seem to firm up a bit if they’re not used.
    • Cushion rotation is a must, but that’s easy.
  • The bases:
    • do get easier to separate over time.
    • are so low to the ground that they don’t capture much trash, which is awesome
    • are not too heavy to slide, and the felt pads do prevent scratching.

Loon Mountain

One of the perks that Meghan gets through her job are invites to swanky resorts.  Last week was Wentworth-by-the-Sea, this week was a client inviting her to the Loon Mountain Ski Resort for a day of snow sports.

meghan's snow-encrusted hat
The sleds kick up lots of snow, much of which winds up on the back of your head

Meghan and I don’t ski, but they have more than skiing; our activity of choice was sledding.  This isn’t any ordinary sledding, though: they seem to have repurposed an old ski lift and trail.  The sleds are snow-tubes with rails and brakes.  You take a lift up to the top, ride down for as long as 30 seconds, and head back up.  There were few other sledders so we had zero waiting.

After a group lunch with the client and their other guests, the two of us decided to sight-see.  We climbed in the car and drove up into the mountains along the Kancamagus Highway.  Despite the clouds the views were beautiful.

kancamgus pass overlook
Looking out from a scenic overlook just below the Kancamagus Pass (3k’ elevation)
looking back at Meghan
The sun was starting to peek out to the east, but west was still solidly clouded over. There had been snow earlier in the day, but only in these higher elevations.
disappearing mountain tops
The low clouds meant we couldn’t see the mountain tops, as they faded into the clouds

Butter has a terrible, no-good, very bad day.

Butter did not have a good day today. She’s been licking her paws and scratching her face to the point she’s starting to lose fur. Sprayed her with some anti-itch spray, and that didn’t help much (but she did put herself in her crate for an hour).

sad pitt bull
She looks so miserable

Off to the vet we go. He looks her over and says yes, it’s allergies, benadryl what she needs, and by the way her anal glands are full.

So, poor Butter is itchy, has been sprayed with nasty stuff, went to the vet, had a finger up her rear to express her gland, and is due to take two pills later.

I said I should just trim her nails to make it complete, but Quinn says that would be too cruel. I think he’s right.

We’ll just let her sleep for now.

Raiser’s Edge, love, what were you thinking

TL;DR: In the SQL Configuration Manager, set the TCP port to a static one, if is trying to use Dynamic, and remove the Dynamic port. On the Server, go into the Advanced settings for the Firewall, and set Inbound rules for both the TCP and UDP ports, allowing them to connect. On the client, set Outbound rules in the Firewall manager for the same. Support Articles at bottom of post.

So, I do third party tech support for a couple of independent schools. Several of them use a program called Raiser’s Edge to keep track of charitable donations, and solicitations. This is all well and good, and the program certainly does the job, but sometimes it makes you want to down a liter of vodka and go home.

The set up: We had to replace a machine that was hosting a networked install of a Raiser’s Edge database. We didn’t realize it was networked until we got the call that they couldn’t access it from their laptop (crap).

The initial troubleshooting: First, we needed to uninstall RE from the laptop (the client computer). It would not go. Finally decided to reboot the machine to make sure RE was not running anywhere. Suddenly, the uninstall went like a breeze.

Now we needed to install RE from the network share on the server. We can’t connect. That took turning off all the firewalls on both machines to fix, but still, we could not get to the “Deploy” folder, that should have been the only available network share on the machine.

Turns out that the installer does not set that folder to be “Available” across the network. There was no documentation for that. Set it to “Available” and boom. I can see the network share.

Run the setup.

Install RE.

Try to run RE.

Start getting database errors. Native Error 17 – Can’t connect to the Database. Call Support and they say “Yeah, its probably the firewall.”

I was too irritated to tell them there was no firewall turned on, at first, but when I mentioned it, they said that it was possible an antivirus had blocked the ports needed. Go to this KB article and open the ports.

Yeah. Fine.

I go through the directions, figure out that SQL has a dynamic port, and follow the directions for that configuration. It doesn’t work. Fantastic.

Finally, Darling Husband o’Mine says, “Why don’t you specify the port it uses?”

So in the end, this is what worked:

  • In the SQL Configuration Manager, set the IPALL port to 1433
  • Stop and restart the SQL service/reboot the machine (I wound up rebooting, but YMMV).
  • On the Server, in Firewall Management, under Advanced Settings, set up Inbound Rules for the following:
    • TCP port 1433 open (or some open port)
    • UDP port 1434 open
  • On the Client, set up Outbound Rules for the following:
    • TCP port 1433 open (or whatever port you used on the server. THEY HAVE TO MATCH)
    • UDP port 1434 open
  • Install RE on the client machine from the Deploy share on the Server.
  • Test the connections.

If any of this makes no sense, here is the supporting documentation for all of it:

Good luck, and may the force be with you on this one.