Yesterday I had to say goodbye to a long time friend. ;(
Farewell Bitters. I’ll miss your mrows from the kitchen, your so very loud purring (missing these last few weeks), and your curled up calico self.
1993(ish) – 2012
Yesterday, we finally had to make the decision to send Merlin on his way. It never gets any easier to make that decision, but once again, I think we made the right one at the right time. (At least I keep telling myself that).
Merlin was a beautiful blue brindle (one of the rarest colors of greyhounds) boy. His owners had high hopes for his racing carrier, but it never went anywhere, and he retired when he was only 18 months old, having never run an official race.
He went into his life of retirement to a great place: a family where he learned all the obedience commands (He had his Canine Good Citizen Cert), dog agility, and how to teach other greyhounds how to live in a home. He also helped raise a bunch of greyhound puppies over time, keeping them in line and showing them the ropes.
When I first moved to Colorado and thought about adopting a greyhound, I went to a meet and greet and there he was. So handsome, soft and alive. He was the first greyhound I met in colorado and the one that sent me on my way adopting and fostering.
Then, when he was around 5, he came to me. At first he was afraid. He had major seperation anxiety anytime I left the house, but soon he learned that I would ALWAYS come back to him. He became my velcro dog. If I went upstairs, so did he. If I went on a trip, he wanted to go too. Here too he showed foster dogs how to run up stairs, play with stuffed toys and enjoy life. We spent many many many days out at the greyhound booth at the ren faire. Merlin didn’t really care about being there or the people or attention out there, he just wanted to be with me (and later Wendy as he bonded with her too). While at the booth he would hang back and sleep and lay down, not caring too much about people petting him. When we would leave the booth, he would move up front, scanning the crowds until we returned… jumping for joy at our arrival (literally).
He was a champion “roacher” (laying on back with all legs in the air like a dead cockroach):
Last year he was diagnosed with a thymoma in his chest. They didn’t give too good a chance, but we looked in his eyes and saw that he was going to stay with us, so he had a 4+ hour surgery and they removed a double fist sized thymoma from his chest. Amazingly he recovered and got another year to spend with us. He still tossed stuffed toys around and would from time to time run around the yard.
Good bye Merlin. You touched more lives than you can know. I will never forget you.
For the last few years our dogs have been blood donors at our local animal hospital/blood bank.
Yesterday was the last donation for our older hound Burner. He is going to turn 9 before his next donation and they want dogs to be younger than 9 to donate. He absolutely loved going to give blood. Tons of attention and pets from the staff, car rides, treats and all kinds of fun. They all signed a ‘blood donor’ bandana and gave him a really nice dog bed as retirement gifts. 🙂 They also said he could come back anytime to visit.
We loved it because not only were we doing good, but he got free yearly checkups, free heartworm meds, and discounts on procedures.
I know the blood our pups have donated have saved lives of other dogs. If you have a dog, do consider applying for them to be a blood donor.
Since today is new years eve and 2021 begins here tonight, I thought I would take a look back on 2020.
The big item for me in the first and middle part of the year was our Datacenter move. Planning for that started last year and spilled into early 2020. Then, setup of new machines, migration of services for a minimum Fedora, then moving all the rest of the machines, then getting them online. It was a ton of work, not only in planning, but setting up things, migrating and communicating with everyone involved. Overall I think it went pretty well. Downtime was pretty low for the most part and we managed to get things up pretty fast. It wasn’t perfect of course, we _still_ have things we moved to one datacenter that are not back online yet, but hopefully soon in 2021. I really think how well it worked was a testament to everyone involved: Folks on our team, RHIT planning and networking, and even all the Fedora community members (who were super understanding of the outages and issues!). Here’s to never ever moving from the new datacenter ever again. 🙂
I actually did manage to get one trip in in the early part of the year before covid-19 destroyed everything: I made it to devconf.cz. A excellent time as always!
You may think that the pandemic didn’t affect me much. After all, I am an introvert that lives in the forest 20 miles from the nearest town. However, it really did: When everyone started working from home there was a big flood of video meetings and such, I think because everyone who normally talks to lots of people at the office wanted contact more, and that caused a lot more meetings, making things hard to get done. That died down some, but all the stress about whats locked down and what precautions you need to take to go to the store and all the US politics doom mixed in made it pretty stressful, even when avoiding people.
We managed to get Fedora 32 and 33 out the door, and on time again for the most part!
Flock was of course canceled, and I feel sad not being able to see all my Fedora friends in person. However, nest with fedora was pretty great! Not the same, but still good.
I got a new 2020 dell xps 13 laptop. It’s alright, but I am not amazed by it. I might need to upgrade sooner than the normal 3 years if something amazing comes out and finances permit.
I picked up not one, but two pinephones. I have had a bit of time to play with them over the holidays, but need some more. They are still not to the level of what I would need for daily use, but they are rapidly advancing. Here’s to a Fedora pinephone spin in 2021. 🙂
I decided I should try more microblogging, so I setup a mastodon account: https://fosstodon.org/@nirik Come and join me there and dump twitter. 🙂 No idea if it will stick, but I am going to give it a try. I really didn’t blog much in 2020, given all the datacenter work and doom, perhaps I will try more in 2021.
On the work front, we had some great folks migrate out to other places and some new people come in. If there’s one thing that always stays the same, it’s change. I am pretty happy about how we have moved to actually planning larger projects (initatives) that our team works on now. I think it’s much better for everyone to know what we are working on, what the priority is for everyone involved and clear ideas what done is for those things. Hopefully we keep it up and refine it in 2021. Another thing that I think has been a smashing success is our daily ops standups. Just getting a few folks together every day for 30min to triage tickets, process quick things and discuss things has been great! We have really killed the infrastructure ticket queue down before the holidays. In 2021 we hope to finish that and work on the releng ones.
Finally here we gained a kitten (she was a feral cat that decided she loves people), lost the last of our dogs (he was nearly 15) and just had a bunch of stuff done in our back yard (retaining wall, a bunch of paver stones around our deck, it looks really nice!). I expect in 2021 after we get the back yard grass grown we will look at getting some more dogs, it’s… strange without them around. We have also started (before Christmas even) to eat more healthy and excersize more (I’m down 9lbs so far… at least it’s a dent in the pandemic weight gain.).
Hope 2021 is a great year for everyone! Good riddance to 2020!