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Welcome to The blog of whall

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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

Do you know the difference between cheating and marketing?  They’re both lying, but marketing makes it looks good.

I once again was too busy for my “sunday” weekly blog summary.  So it’s quietly becoming a “monday” summary, which can be cool in itself because that somewhat hides away the need to do an actual “monday” entry.  See how marketing works?

Hall XMAS Tree 2007

We now have our XMAS Tree up, all nine feet of it.  It barely fits in the house.  I love our tree – it’s one of those pre-lit ones so now I can spend hours putting the tree together and plugging in all the right outlets instead of spending hours stringing lights on an unlit tree.

hall xmas tree 2007

Isn’t it purty?  Well it’s not done yet.  Just WAIT UNTIL IT’S DONE.  My wife puts up a mean XMAS tree.

I’m feeling a little loopey

Speaking of trees, let’s talk about spanning tree. 

We’re going through a major remodel at work.  As IT Director, I’m responsible for network, power, phones, systems, network, etc.  So we had to recarpet an entire row – probably about 100 feet long and 40 feet wide.  All the cubes had to get dismantled, power/network taken out, all the computers, mice, monitors, phones, headsets, knicknacks, printers, foot warmers, chairs, paperwork, files, etc also had to go with it.

Fortunately, most everything was labeled pretty well and the idea was, the movers were to put everything back where they found it, plug stuff in and then *I’m* supposed to go in right before everyone comes in and make sure phones, network and PC’s work fine. 

Except one teeny tiny problem.

Network loops.


Ok, here’s the deal.  We use these Avaya 4610 IP Phones that are basically awesome.  They have a little mini-network switch built into them.  You plug in the phone to the wall and then plug in your PC to the phone.  This is so cool for many reasons, one of which is that you can network up a PC and a phone with just one data port (network cabling is expensive if you didn’t know).  The second reason it’s cool is that if the PC is all chatty and stuff on the network (aka “throwing up all over the net”) because it has a virus or the user is streaming media or downloading nasty images, the phone throttles that network connection so that the voice traffic, which has to share the same network port, doesn’t suffer.

avaya 4610 ip phone

Here’s the catch.  Ask your local network engineer what “spanning tree” is used for, and watch for the little cringe he does when you tell him you have a friend who had some end users dual-connect an IP phone into two data ports.  He feels my pain.

So instead of hooking up data jack -> phone -> PC, they hooked up phone -> data jack AND phone -> data jack again.  This creates something known in nature as a “network loop,” analogous to a black hole.  Spanning tree is a pretty simple algorithm that detects network loops and shuts them down, eventually.  The problem for people like me is when network loops happen at people’s desks, unfortunately the network isn’t smart enough to shut down the loop at the desk.  Oh nooooo.  It shuts down some other more important loop somewhere, like in the data center.

Bee Movie

It was worth Matinee price of $6.25, but it probably wouldn’t have been worth full price.

bee movie

You could call me a Seinfeld fan.  I enjoyed most of the jokes.  The graphics were great, the storyline was ok.  Overall, a good solid shrug.  “Eh” is how it’s spelled I think.  Jaden loved it, but he’d probably love anything.  That’s how I used to be.

Le Sigh.  Why am I so cynical? 

And lo, the people did comment thus:


  1. Poppy says:

    zomg you’re alive.

    It amuses me that you left an entire swath of the tree ornament-free but then you capped it. 😀

  2. whall says:

    Poppy, YES, I’m alive. A little groggy, my back is sore and my throat’s a little grimy. And as I mentioned, the tree isn’t done – the top half is next. We topped it with the bows because it’s MUCH easier to top the little section while it’s down at normal human level and THEN put the section up on top of the tree instead of trying to fasten the bows once the section is way up there.

  3. sue says:

    Tree is lovely… 🙂

  4. Absurdist says:

    Sorry so late in responding. But, unlike you, I have real things to do.

    Can we get an updated picture after Christie actually decorated it? I don’t want to say anything until I see what your saint wife did to save you.

    See my post on your last technology post regarding the phone. I get tired of yawning at you. 😉

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