20 Years!

My first day of work at Fayetteville State University was on August 7, 1995.  Today is Friday, August 7, 2015.  Twenty years working at FSU.  I was hired by Mr. Leo Taylor, then Director of MIS (later became ITTS) Management Information Systems.

Leo and I became good friends.  His direction, in my writing a job description,  was instrumental in my receiving a significant pay increase several years into my employment.  He retired from FSU and then worked several years for Sprint.  Leo was originally from Washington, NC (“Little Washington”), and his mother, “Silver,” still lived in Washington until her death at the end of 2013.  Leo had a “love-hate” relationship with Silver.  He loved to hate her;-)  Leo died in April of 2014.  I miss him.

I had breakfast at the Rainbow Restaurant before work this morning.

The morning was the usual blend of various technical feats.  I walked across campus and installed a couple of updates of software in an office.  I did the last push to get some FIU technicians their account info so that they could login to our Canvas LMS.  They will be assisting some of our Accounting Department faculty with getting the curriculum fully online.

I was thinking about what might be a special treat for lunch and then decided to go to the “Hibachi Grill & Supreme Buffet” on Ramsey Street.  This restaurant is in the remodeled, former Golden Corral.  I used to go to the Golden Corral at least a couple of times a week.  Although the restaurant looks little like it did for many years, I still feel comfortable there and enjoy the Oriental Cuisine.  However, I do like the shrimp and normally get a “mess” of them, peeling, dipping them in Cocktail Sauce, and eating them as my first plate.  I’ll get a slice of watermelon, and/or a slice of cantaloupe and add sweetner to the melon and salt the cantaloupe.  I may get a cup of egg drop soup, to which I may add some steamed won tons, and some chopped onion tops.  I’ve finally reached the age of a “Senior.”  They only charge $7.12 (tax included) for the Buffet and water.  I think the normal cost is $8.43, or there abouts.

If they want to charge more for the Senior meal, that’s okay with me.  If they don’t want to give a Senior Discount, that would be okay also… but, if they are offering a discount, then I am going to take advantage of it.  I have spent many years, not being a “Senior,” and paying full price.  I don’t want them to go out of business either.

After a late lunch, the afternoon became progressively more stormy.  And then, there was a crack and the office went black.  There was an unusual grinding sound as if something was attacking a large mechanical unit and then the sound of several battery backups beeping.   My monitors were black screened and no hum came from my PC.  I did note that the power light was still on for my laptop, which is running Ubuntu OS, but that is because some time ago I replaced its dead battery with one from one of the old laptops that was being retired.  I had also doubled the RAM in similar fashion.

The offices and halls were dark except for the degraded light filtering through the large exterior windows.  A year or so ago, a film was applied to the glass panes to reduce the heat & light to the interior.  This was a mixed blessing because the office environment was made more pleasant, but the exterior always seems to be either early morning or twilight.  I have a yard light that is solar powered sitting on my window ledge.  It used to gain enough power during the day that the light bulb would shine when you covered the top of the unit.  It doesn’t charge enough now with the film on the window.

The offices were quickly abandoned as staff found their way outside for various reasons.  I decided to go home.

At home, I notified several people of the power outage and which apps were affected.  The battery backups kept some apps running for a while, but then I think most or all of the apps were shut down until power was restored.  Blackboard, Canvas and WordPress became unavailable.  Although Blackboard and Canvas are both hosted off-site at different locations, authentication (ADFS, LDAP) is handled from our server(s) on-campus and these were unavailable to authenticate users for several hours.

So, that was my day… twenty years at FSU and counting.