Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry (and Hectic) Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my readers!

After news of my promotion and end-of-the-year award, things went haywire. On Sunday evening, the air conditioning units in my office's server room stopped working (so the servers basked in 100+ temperatures until Monday). On Tuesday, a critical database server went down and did not reboot properly; I worked until 9:15 that evening. On Wednesday, we were still in server-cleanup mode (since the other developer, who knows far more about system administration and hardware than I do) was on vacation (and otherwise incapacitated, having gone through sinus surgery that morning).

Christmas Eve dinner was held at my brother's house in Morris County -- pirogis and oplatky (the Slovak traditions from my mother's side) and shrimp.

Christmas morning, my wife and I exchanged gifts (more on those later), went to 9:00 AM Mass -- and knelt during the "By the power of the Holy Spirit..." in the Creed (genua flectunt, "they bend the knees", GIRM 137) -- and then drove up to her parents' place where we stayed until Friday afternoon. I brought my laptop (because I knew work would have to be done at some point).

At around 10:30 that evening, I did a bit of work, and made an error that ground the web server to a halt. So at 11:45 PM on Christmas, I drove down from Rutherford (near Giants' Stadium) to Princeton to fix a server issue that I could not repair remotely and which I did not feel justified in asking someone else to take care of at such a late hour and which could not wait until the morning. I got back to Rutherford around 2:30 am on Friday. I calmed myself on the drive down with a Rosary and prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet on the way back in thanksgiving for a smooth resolution to my stupid programming error. (Programmers: remember to properly terminate your forked processes. Spawning 2**27 - 1 processes on the web server is never a wise move.)

Now, at the close of Friday, my wife and I are back in Princeton. Tonight, we're playing a game I bought her and watching a DVD she bought me. (Presents in a minute...)

Tomorrow, we're going into Newark to see Video Games Live (performed by the NJ Symphony Orchestra) with a few friends. Sunday, after Mass, we're watching the last NY Giants game of the regular season. And relaxing.

Presents! Among other things, my wife gave me the 5-disc NY Giants Superbowl Champions DVD box set and some much-needed clothes; she also gave me a book by Eamon Duffy, "Faith of our Fathers", which is his personal reflection on traditional Catholicism... I can't wait to read it! Some of the gifts I gave her were a cute card game called Guillotine (which we've played before) and a 12" x 16" Annunciation by Fra Angelico (pictured at right).

With the money I received from my in-laws, I bought a peacoat, a collared shirt, and a brown vest. I also received a full pajama set and a pair of slacks from Kristin's parents. So now I'm going to try some clothing on and end up in my new pajamas to cuddle up by the fireplace with Kristin and play some Guillotine and relive football memories from a year ago!

Merry Christmas!

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