Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Folder, Relocated (April 2006)

It's about 3:30AM right now... Let me bore you with yet another post on TBMP. Muahahahaha.

I know I mentioned that this migration project will be huge, but I personally initially thought it was going to be kacang putih. Can't think of an appropriate direct translation for this but the closest would be... urm... I thought the process was going to be a breeze.

The whole thing was supposed to be automated, and all I planned to do was to simply run The Chosen Migration Tool at pre-determined time(s) and then periodically check on the progress, maybe once or twice in a couple of hours. I would still have my weeknights and I would still have my weekends. No biggie whatsoever. Probably can kow-tim in 3 weekends if not 2.

Well... I definitely thought wrong!!

Firstly, that supposedly canggih (sophisticated) tool did not help. The tool does work, but it took way too much time. I tested it to migrate a 47GB folder across the network, and the entire 'automated' process took 15 days to complete. 15 DAYS!! And it was just *one* measly folder.

FYI, the whole production database is about 1.9 Terabytes. Maybe I can run the tool, go on sabbatical leave for a couple of months and come back when it's done. Heh.

So, what did I end up having to do?

Migrate all the data m-a-n-u-a-l-l-y. Per folder, per user.
One by one by one. Migrate folder, reapply shares, reassign permissions, re-map drives. Check, recheck and check again.There are about 2000 folders in total by the way, and my progress so far is about one third of that number at the mo. ohmygod-boringnya-nak-m@mpus?!! You betcha. But someone's gotta do the dirty work and later get no credits for it, no?

This way, at least we're making progress, slowly but surely.
Sikit-sikit lama-lama jadi bukit, as they say. *thinks happy thoughts*

While doing the migration just now, I wondered if the folder owners would even notice that their folders have been relocated overnight. The whole migration should be transparent to the users, but if they actually looked at the details, they would see that their folders have been mapped to a new server. A new, more powerful server.

Would they notice the differences?
Like "Oh, wow! My Z drive is pointing to a new server? Gosh... When did this happen?"
"Huh? What migration?", because they just do not need to care.

What do I think?
(In reality) Probably the latter. C'est la vie.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Never, Never on a Sunday, a Sunday, a Sunday

I am taking a migration break.

Uwwaaaaaaa!!! *cries*

It's Sunday and here I am locked in the room workin'-n-migratin' while others sibuk beristirehat bersama keluarga (R&R with family).

Obviously it's not my choice, but unfortunately I do not have an option because TBMP (what's this? go here if you're curious to find out) should and must be done during the least peak hours. And that means weekends and late nights on weekdays. Sabar je lah.


Damnit, I'm tired!!!! My back hurts, my neck hurts, my shoulders hurt even more. My fingers feel numb. My eyes feel like they're gonna pop out of their sockets.

My face is pimply and I have dark circles under my eyes.

On top of that, I have a headache that comes and goes, probably due to my recent irregular sleep patterns. Or maybe just plain lack of sleep.

I am still targetting to complete at least 80% of the migration by this coming Friday, coz I will not be working next weekend. Woo hooooo hoooooo!!!

Next weekend (a 3-day-weekend some more) I'll be In shaa Allah joining the rest of the family members going to Perak and then Penang, for a wedding. My cousin's wedding. My cousin is the groom. Hmm... I wonder if I'll be seeing Bertique or not.

It's been awhile since me+famyBoy+kids went on a road trip, what more a vacation, so I am pretty excited about the whole thingy. I pray that everything will go smoothly throughout this coming week.
I am hoping that nobody falls sick, including the car. And the servers in the data center too.

Back to workin'-n-migratin' now...

I miss famyBoy and the kids!! *cries*

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

When Ibu is Too Tired to Read Aloud...

Firstly, thank you Madame Readaloud Sifu for the consultation and advice... *wink*

Errmm... so, where was I? *pause*

Oh yes... The workarounds that I had in mind.

As I was saying, whenever I read to my kids, I would try my best to make the sessions fruitful in as many aspects as possible -- mathematical skills, language skills, motor skills, and maybe social skills too. So it's not just the act of reading the words, it's also about pointing out what's important, what's good or bad, association with actual events or living things, mostly stuff that's relevant to their lives. I know I would get bored if I was made to sit and listen to monotonous reading so I tried to make our reading sessions engaging and stimulating each time. Bunyi macam banyak kerja kan? Now you know why I'd be hesitant to read whenever I felt tired and unfit to do so.

Anyways... here are some of the thoughts...

Role-Playing aka "Would You Read to Me Instead?"
Note: This method would probably be most applicable if your child is at a learning-to-read stage or later.

I actually tried this out last night.

I asked Sofea if she is willing to read to me instead. Kids her age like to be treated like grownups, to feel special and useful. So I asked her if she wanted to switch roles, i.e I volunteered myself to be her, and she could be me.

Me: Ibu, Ibu, Ibu... please read this book for me. *grabbed Eric Carle's The Very Busy Spider and passed it to her*
Her: *giggles* Ok, nanti Kakak bacakan. Eh! Nanti Ibu bacakan. (Ok, I (Big Sister) will read to you. Eh! Mommy will read to you.) *giggles*
Me: Ok, thank you, Ibu.
Her: *giggles*
Me: I love you, Ibu.
Her: *burst into more giggles*
Me: *roll eyes*

I should warn you that with this method, there's bound to be lots of giggling, laughing, Eh! this and Eh! that. But personally, I do not see a problem with that, do you? ;)

The roles-switching session turned out to be more fun than I'd expected. I didn't have to force myself to read when I didn't feel like it, and Sofea got to read her book of choice and we ended up spending some time together. Quality time? I think so... *beams*

I feel that this method is a good way to boost my daughter's confidence. By encouraging her to read to me, I get to listen to her pronounciations, punctuations and intonations. I am teaching her to read independently while at the same time assuring her that I am available to assist when and where necessary.

Our role-playing session ended when a certain someone named Aidiin walked in on us and insisted that he wanted to 'read' the book that his sister was reading at the time. Kakaaaaakkkk!!! Baggiiiiii!!!!! Gimme the book or I'll screaaaaaaaammmm!!

As a result, we had to stop whatever we were doing and I decided to call it a night.

Post-Reading Activities cum Main Activities

1. Drawing and Coloring
Note: Make sure you have writing/drawing paper, color pencils and crayons available at all times.

Of course, a quick and easy 'distraction' is to get your child to do some drawing and/or coloring instead. Yes, we're talking about a post-reading activity that is handy when Ibu is too exhausted to entertain any read aloud requests.

What I plan to do is to get Sofea to draw her favorite characters (based on a particular storybook) as an alternative to my reading. And/Or maybe color (either the stuff she drew herself or from coloring books or relevant images downloaded from the Internet).

I believe this would help stimulate her creativity and imagination. Not to mention a good way to kill time when Ibu needs to take quickie naps or do ironing or laundry folding etc. A win-win situation, dontcha think? ;)

Another advantage is I can save and recycle her 'works of art', like for making scrapbooks or DIY storybooks etc.


These would actually qualify as another fun Ibu&anak project, no? Hmmm...

2. (Not Jigsaw) Puzzles
I got this URL from the ReadAloud Queen herself. Thanks Ninuk!
I have not had a chance to experiment yet, but I was told that there is a puzzle generating tool available online for you to create your own customized word searches, crosswords, math puzzles and such.
Pretty cool, eh??

Check it out yourself: http://puzzlemaker.school.discovery.com/.

I plan to make customized puzzles for Sofea to work on, based on the books that we've read previously. Maybe in future I can post some of the puzzles here so you can use with your kiddos as well.

Sifu Ninuk advised to keep a 'master copy' of everything so that you can xerox and reuse the puzzles at a later time or even on another sibling. Also handy when you need to babysit your nieces and/or nephews and/or neighbors' kids etc. hee hee hee.

To be continued...

Monday, April 17, 2006

Sofea's Rejections

Last night Sofea asked me to read aloud to her before bed, which is not something out of the ordinary. Reading aloud is one of the best activities that we get to enjoy together. So I said OK-lah, although deep down inside I wished I didn't have to. Nak buat tapi tak ikhlas-lah ni. Not because I was lazy, but because I was already sooooo tired working on That Big Migration Project (TBMP) two days in a row. I would never never plan to do work during weekends, but for TBMP I didn't really have a choice because weekends are the least peak periods, and since my goal was to minimize interruptions for users, weekends would be the best time to migrate the bulk of the data. Oh, and also late night on weekdays.

I have digressed...

Anyways, when I said OK-lah, she ran off to take what I had assumed would be *a* favorite book. But when she returned, she brought along ten books instead. T-E-N. And she expected me to read them all to her in one sitting. Hello?? Sajer nak buat Ibu punya "blood go upstairs"?

Kenapa bawak banyak sangat? (Why did you bring so many?) 
Kakak nak Ibu bacakan... (I want you to read them for me)
TWO only, okay?

Alaaa... Kakak nak ten... (But I want ten...)

No, two saja... (No, two only...)

Err... five ke Ibu? (Err... five, Mom?) 
No! Two. 
Tapi Kakak nak five. (But I want five...) 
(*grrrrr*) No, two saja. (No, two only.) 
(*pleading some more*) Alaaa... Kakak nak Ibu bacakan five buku. (But I want you to read me five books.) 
NO! Sebab Kakak taknak dengar cakap Ibu, Ibu taknak baca buku malam ni. OK?
(NO! Because you did not listen to me, I am NOT going to read to you tonight. OK?)

Now go brush your teeth and go to sleep. NOW!!

I felt really bad and guilty actually. Especially after seeing the disappointed look on her face. But I was determined, and I was not going to give in easily. So I used my Ibu-veto power over her. When all she wanted was for me to read to her, which probably translated to wanting to spend more time with me.

Last night was not the first time I turned her down because of my own selfish reasons. When she was a baby, all I wanted was to inculcate the love of reading in her. I think I did a good job. Now that she is this little book-loving person that she is, I discourage and belittle her requests, when what I should have done (and be doing) was to praise and inspire. What is the matter with me?

It's all about control. I felt exploited. In a good way, but still exploited.

It feels wrong for me to be complaining about this right now. But I was damn tired. And I did not want to spend non-quality time with her. Reading aloud is about cultivating the love of books and reading. It is about bonding. It is about motivating, learning and encouraging literacy. It is not simply about voicing out the printed text from a book.

Am I making this sound bigger and more difficult than it really is?
Am I just giving lame excuses to cover up my guilt?
Is it wrong for me to turn her down? I wanted to show her who was in control.
Am I supposed to just read to her for the sake of doing it (to keep her quiet) and not because of wanting to spend quality time?

*guilt-stricken some more*

I gave this 'issue' some thought. Lots of thoughts. I seriously do not want my daughter to think less of me. I don't want her to give up on me just yet. Or even worse, I don't want her to find an alternative. An alternative to me, that is. Yes, I am selfish like that.

So what have I come up with? Quite a few ideas, actually. I'll put them up in another post.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I Should Have a Plan B (and C and D and E??)

The next couple of weeks will be quite challenging for me. Remember that big migration project that I mentioned last time in one of my older posts?
*imagines everyone scrolling down to recall what project*

LOL! You didn't think I had expected any of you to remember, did you? :P

Anyways, the 1st phase migration is scheduled to take place this weekend. Yes, I'll be working on weekends until the entire project completes! Probably till mid of May. I have some rough ideas on what approach to use to ease the migration but nothing is certain yet. I found a 3rd party tool that's supposed to automate the process and do this and do that in addition to everything that has been specified in the (tool's) knowledge base documentations. But of course, everything looks good on paper (or in this case, on the internet) and until I have actually used and implemented the tool in a production environment, I can't really confirm that things'll go smoothly. Belum cuba belum tahu, see? Nothing is certain yet, and I don't really have much time to panic, yikes!!! to do more research. I should start thinking about alternatives and workarounds, just in case. I should be thinking of a Plan B.

*sigh* There's still so much to do!!!

Another (major) concern I have is that I tend to overeat when I get tensed and worried. Same thing happened during my school days. During exams week, my friends would be losing weight due to lack of appetite, but I'd be stressfully eating away. I am actually munching on Jack'nJill Potato Chips right now while typing this entry. Munch, munch, munch.

I might have to put blogging on hold temporarily, or at the very least, reduce my blogging time (sure, we'll see about that). So if you don't see me around the next couple of days (or weeks), you'll know why. Also, if you see me several pounds heavier the next couple of days (or weeks), you'll know why too.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Quiz Analysis - On Lurrrve

One good(?) thing about taking quizzes, especially them personality tests, is that they make you reflect and think about the results; in a way, make you evaluate the person you are (at this point in time) or the person you were. Another good thing is it gives me something to write about when I don't really have a decent entry to post... hee hee hee.

I took the quiz last night, during a commercial break, while watching DHAC 5 and attempting to *cough* work *cough*. The kids were asleep, and so was their Ayah. I had to choose between Lost and DHAC last night, and Lost lost, so I'll be catching the repeat on Saturday night.

I don't know if the results will be different if I take the quiz again. I have actually forgotten what my responses were since I wasn't really paying much attention, but for the sake of this update, let's assume that I was really concentrating-lah.

Err... this entry's gonna get a bit mushy from now on... don't say I didn't warn you.

I never had a boyfriend when I was in school. One reason was I went to an all-girls school from Standard One till Form Five. Another reason was I got the impression that my dad would not approve of my cintan-cintun back then. He never really said anything out loud or laid down rules of any sort, though. But my instincts told me not to, so I didn't even bother trying. I did not befriend boys, what more to give out my home phone number. Lagipun, zaman tu mana ada handphone nak bersms-sms kan... Oh yes, I didn't go to any boarding schools either, in case you're wondering.

I don't have any male siblings and I only have one male cousin who is 6 years younger than I am. And he stays in a different state. So my 'contact' with the opposite gender was limited to my dad, mostly. And a stripey-orange stray jantan cat that used to lepak behind the house every evening waiting for me to feed and pat him.

I had a big crush on a guy once (and still do, hee hee hee). But he was wayyy out of my league. The other guy I had a crush on was also errr.... unattainable. I had a local crush once but that didn't work out either. ♪Akan ku simpan kenangan cinta kita, yang tak akan terpadam selamanya... ♪ *wink*

I met A when I spent a year in LA studying, preparing and taking exams for university placements, back in 1998. He was also a student like me, i.e. awarded a scholarship to further studies abroad, but he was under another program (different sponsor). I had never been away from family, but there I was in a different continent, in a country on the opposite side of the globe. And this guy was the first male person who approached, befriended me and apparently showed that he cared. As a friend? Maybe more. That was my first time. I think I had fallen in love.

Nanti sambung bila-bila. Kena pi buat kerja dulu...

Monday, April 03, 2006

This is the time I'll use the "Updating for the Sake of Updating" excuse...

I don't remember where/when I first came across this quiz (I think it was from someone's blog), but I happened to save the URL for the questions so that I could take the quiz myself someday... (read: when bored and tired in between To Do tasks). What better way to procrastinate, eh?

Get to know yourself better

Your view on yourself:
You are down-to-earth and people like you because you are so straightforward. You are an efficient problem solver because you will listen to both sides of an argument before making a decision that usually appeals to both parties.

The type of girlfriend/boyfriend you are looking for:
You are a true romantic. When you are in love, you will do anything and everything to keep your love true.

Your readiness to commit to a relationship:
You prefer to get to know a person very well before deciding whether you will commit to the relationship.

The seriousness of your love:
You are very serious about relationships and aren't interested in wasting time with people you don't really like. If you meet the right person, you will fall deeply and beautifully in love.

Your views on education:
Education is very important in life. You want to study hard and learn as much as you can.

The right job for you:
You're a practical person and will choose a secure job with a steady income. Knowing what you like to do is important. Find a regular job doing just that and you'll be set for life.

How do you view success:You are confident that you will be successful in your chosen career and nothing will stop you from trying.

What are you most afraid of:
You are concerned about your image and the way others see you. This means that you try very hard to be accepted by other people. It's time for you to believe in who you are, not what you wear.

Who is your true self:
You are mature, reasonable, honest and give good advice. People ask for your comments on all sorts of different issues. Sometimes you might find yourself in a dilemma when trapped with a problem, which your heart rather than your head needs to solve.


Interesting (and scary!) how some of the stuff holds true...

The 3-in-1 Kenduri Aqiqah

Last Saturday (on April Fool's Day) we had a 3 babies-in-1 kenduri aqiqah for Aidiin and the twins Hannani (my niece) and Hazimi (my nephew). The ceremony was held at my in-laws' residence in SA. Altogether 5 ekor kambing gurun (apa equivalent name in English ya?) telah disembelih. Banyak tu! Harga kambing pun dah mahal sekarang... RM600 seekor. Masa buat aqiqah untuk Sofea dulu, I think we spent RM650 camtu, for one kambing (lamb, rasanya) but that included the costs for sembelih (slaughter) and cooking as well. For this kenduri, it was decided that only 3 of the kambing gurun will be cooked and served as lauk for the kenduri. Yang lagi 2 ekor tu upah orang masak kicap untuk distribute on D-day as sadaqah plus as token of appreciation, i.e. 'berkat' untuk dibawa balik.

Masa my in-laws mula-mula brought up discussion pasal aqiqah, I thought of Bertique, a friend who happens to be a tauke kambing too. Tapi biasalah, if parents dah ada plans, we the budak-budak tak maulah interfere. Lagipun kitorang ni actually just tagged along kenduri aqiqah for the twins. So, dah alang-alang they all buat preparations, famyBoy decided to include Aidiin as well, so tambah le lagi 2 ekor kambing gurun.

Anyways, famyBoy's cousin Abg K yang memang terrer masak was the Head Chef for the kenduri. Dia masak sampai pukul 3:30am the night before. The outcome was three types of mutton dishes: kambing masak kurma, kambing masak merah (I think!) and kambing masak sup singapura. Sungguh yummy-licious sedap! The mutton was very tender, and juicy. My favorite (and apparently everyone else's too since this dish was most popular among guests as well) was the kambing masak sup singapura. Nanti kena mintak recipe from Abg K. Bab-bab special dishes ni, I memang tak reti. What more to cook for a kenduri!!

Other food items on the menu: a chicken dish (I think it was called ayam masak keliur?), acar sayur, papadam, kuih-muih tradisional - seri muka, talam keladi, kuih lapis, and fruits. The guests got to drink sirap limau to quench their thirsts.

My lil contribution was in the form of goodie bags, specifically the "Sweets Department". I made little Thank You inserts in 3 colors and put some candy, a jello, and various sweets into small plastic bags. The mini sweets goodie bags were later placed into the bigger goodie bags which contained the rice and the kambing masak kicap, which also included hard-boiled eggs in small boxes for men, and potpourri in pretty glasses with lacy covers for women.

I had my camera with me that day but unfortunately forgot to charge the batteries the night before. So, no pictures!! :( But my sis-in-law (the twins' mom) took pictures with her canggih camera that day, so maybe I can get them from her later.

Aidiin had his bantal busuk with him throughout the ceremony. When his Ayah carried him around (among the men) for the cukur jambul which was actually just a snip, snip kat hujung rambut (yes, budak besar ni pun nak cukur jambul gak!) he saw me, and suddenly decided to whine and cry and wanted Bee-Booh. Ayooo... budak ni! I bet he was crying and whining in the video too (which I have yet to watch).

All in all, the ceremony went well. I was really tired despite not being one of the chefs who stayed up till wee hours in the morning to cook or the ones that did the digging by the roadside in the middle of the night to bury the remaining tulangs (macam nak tanam mayat orang... very suspicious gitu), or the ones that stayed up to kemas rumah before and after. I think it was because I had irregular sleeping patterns the nights before. On some nights I could barely stay awake beyond 9:30pm, whereas some nights I had difficulties sleeping. Tossed and turned, tossed and turned, but still could not fall sleep. Too tired to read anything somehow, so I just laid in bed blinking, in the dark, trying to think straight, many thoughts in my head it seems, sometimes I forced my eyes to close. I tried reciting Al-Fatihah, the 3 Quls, and Ayatul Qursi, that must've helped a bit coz somehow, at some point, I dozed off and did not wake up until the alarm clock went off.

I have digressed...

Anyways, the reason we decided to menumpang the kenduri was because we kept postponing Aidiin's aqiqah since he was 2 months old, and now he's turning 20 months old in 2 weeks. Kesian pulak. We originally planned to have it at our own house, but things happened - car problems, unforeseen outstation trips, this emergency, that emergency etc etc etc, and either we ran short of money (funds limited or need to channel elsewhere) or timing was never good. So, it was a blessing that we could piggy-back on the twins' kenduri. At least the logistic was taken care of. And plus, our guests list would've comprised of the same people anyways. In fact, it was probably more meriah to have the kenduri at the kids' grandparents' place.

Alhamdulillah... ceremony sudah selesai, dengan selamatnya.


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