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SNTT: Easier Mail Statistics Reporting

December 20th, 2007 . by maria

If you’ve been a Domino Admin long, you’ve probably played around with the reports.nsf to get custom email reports such as “Top 25 Senders”. You probably noticed you have two choices: wait for the scheduled report, or tie up your client waiting for the report to run immediately. You may have even gotten so frustrated with waiting that you wrote this database off completely. Well, I have discovered something that SHOULD have been completely obvious. But since I, a relatively smart person, never thought of this before…then perhaps you, doubtless smarter than I am, may not have thought of it either. Here goes:

You can run the scheduled agents whenever you want using the server console. Just set up the scheduled custom report(s), enable, then issue one or more of the following commands:
tell amgr run “reports.nsf” ‘aaMonthlyReportAgent’
tell amgr run “reports.nsf” ‘aaWeeklyReportAgent’
tell amgr run “reports.nsf” ‘aaDailyReportAgent’

With the ability to kick these off immediately, you can quickly see if the report meets your needs without tying up your client in the process.

If your end-of-the year processes are anything like mine, this just might make your New Year happier!

mixed feelings

December 10th, 2007 . by maria

This time of year is always full of mixed feelings. Don’t get me wrong – I am about the most Christmas-spirited person there is. I love decorating. I love singing ye olde carols. I love crafting gifts, buying gifts – the whole process of really thinking about someone and trying to come up with something (you can afford) which will tickle their fancy. I love visiting with people. I love the time off work. I even love preparing for company and having a cookie party. The mixed feelings come in because of the pressures – pressure to get things done, to fit in extra activities, to spend money, to have the house more presentable than usual, etc.

Cards: I have a huge extended family on my mother’s side. She was one of six children. I love every one of them. I don’t want to leave anyone out. But I decided a few years ago that the cutoff had to be three generations. (ie I give to my grandparents, parents/aunts/uncles, and cousins. I don’t give to my cousin’s children, grandma’s aunt, etc.) Once I add in my husband’s family, a few friends, and my coworkers, I end up with about 50 people to make cards for. Plus, Alex has about 75 customers. That’s a lot of cards, whether you buy them or make them. I like making them, and on years when the budget is low – like this year – I make them.

Cookies & Birthdays: My DH asked me last night why I insist on having a cookie party. It started a few years ago when I discovered his mother’s aunt had a December birthday the day before mine, and that neither of us had had a birthday party in, like, years. So I decided that if no one would throw us a party, I’d throw a party. And since I love making cookies this time of year to give as gifts, but have trouble finding time to make them, I’d make it a cookie-baking party. It’s a fun time for women of all ages to squeeze into my little kitchen/dining room for a few hours of chatter and emerge with cookies to justify their time. I’m there making the cookies anyway. I might as well have someone to talk to, which is really what every woman wants most.

Work: It’s also a tough time at work. It’s a time when a lot of projects get finished up. That’s awesome. But it’s also a time when anything that can’t be wrapped up before the holiday gets pushed aside. That’s a bummer. The closer you get to the holidays, the emptier the work plate becomes. I’ve just completed a rollout of a DEMO of Instant Messaging for my employer. (Lotus Sametime running with our other Domino/Lotus Notes servers. It’s awesome. We’re loving it. For the users, it was like “set your password and away you go”. There was more prep work on my end than that, but overall not too bad. A little more than, say, the email-to-fax or enabling ldap or something. ) However, there are a handful of things that are making no progress whatsoever, and that’s too bad.

UPDATE: It looks like I’m not the only one who has projects get pushed off until after the holidays:

Atlantis to Launch No Earlier Than Sunday
Dec 07, 2007 05:00:00 GMT
Targeted launch time is 3:21 p.m. EST.

Atlantis to Launch Sunday
Dec 08, 2007 05:00:00 GMT
Shuttle will take the European Columbus lab to the space station.

NASA Postpones Shuttle Atlantis Launch
Dec 09, 2007 05:00:00 GMT
NASA delayed Sunday’s scheduled launch of space shuttle Atlantis after a failure occurred in a fuel sensor system.

NASA Targets Space Shuttle Atlantis Launch on Jan. 2
Dec 09, 2007 05:00:00 GMT
Space shuttle Atlantis’ STS-122 mission to the ISS now is targeted to launch no earlier than Jan. 2 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

Gifts: Like I said, I LOVE giving gifts. But, you always wish you had a little more time or money so you could give the “perfect” thing. I’ve got a few people who will probably get their ‘perfect thing’ next year, and their ‘good but not perfect’ thing this year, because of budgetary constraints…and time constraints. I’m a very thrifty shopper and a creative thinker and a crafter. I have to think that makes budgeting easier. But it makes actual gifting more challenging! I know someone who can give a really cute set of tea towels or really nice expensive wool socks, and be happy with that. Not me. If I gave tea towels, I’d have to embroider them myself with your name or your favorite animal/symbol/saying, and wrap them on a tea tray with a pretty mug and bags of your favorite tea. If I give wool socks, it’ll probably be because I learned how to knit, or because they’re in a gift basket with a foot massager and lotion – but only because if said your feet were really bothering you lately, or because they were on your list.

But don’t go thinking that my perfectionist tendencies are the problem. I’ve learned from Flylady.net that I have to accept “done good enough” sometimes over “not done because it wasn’t good enough”. If you can’t tell that from the above, you should know that there are tons of other things I’d like to do around Christmas that I don’t. I’d like to be in a choir again, like I was in school. I’d like to take the kids caroling from the back of a hay truck. (They’d hate it.) I’d like to put on a Christmas pageant. I’d like to have something really awesome to give to my DH, who is getting to that stage of fatherhood where he says not to get him anything because if he needed it, he’d buy it himself. And I’d like to do something really special to acknowledge or help so many others… And that’s just the list of things I think that I actually COULD pull off, if I really had my act together. In my dream world, there’s also plenty of time and money to give something modest but special to the mailman and my coworkers and DH’s customers. I’d like to make really awesome quilts to give as presents. Plus spend time sipping cocoa in front of the woodstove with a good book while snow falls with a feeling of peace because everything got done. Ummm…that would be nice. But it’ll have to wait until January.

Santa’s Cantaloupe

December 10th, 2007 . by maria

“No, I said reindeer look like antelope, not cantaloupe!”

santaswhat

Concept by Leiham Helm, Artwork by Aidan Helm

little crystal asterisks

December 7th, 2007 . by maria

I’m so glad I went out at lunchtime.

I called and checked in with my husband. He said “You know it’s snowing really bad right now. It’ll probably be slippery.” But, I had to go down to the thrift store to see if I could pick up some (undisclosed supplies) so I can work on the (undisclosed gifts) I am hoping to finish up this weekend. Besides, it was all main roads with 25mph speed limits between here and there, so I knew I’d be Ok – and I was fine. I found the things which I think will work, plus a few other things. But here’s why I’m glad I ventured out over my lunch hour:

* A snowflake landed on my eyelash before I could get into the car.

* Big fluffy flakes that make everything seem silent and peaceful.

* Stopping at a stop light, I looked at a big brick building and saw the white fluffy flakes silhoutted against the brick. Why do they seem random, yet patterned, at the same time? And they were so big and slow that you could watch an individual flake go from the top of the building to the ground.

* Driving along, the big flakes coming towards my windshield seemed like perfect miniatures of the paper ones we made as children.

* At the next light, I focused my eyes on my windshield, and was treated to hundreds of little crystal asterisks appearing and then melting.

I know why people complain about the cold and ice and such. But I’m SO glad I was able to appreciate the beauty of today’s snow.

Where have I been?

December 5th, 2007 . by maria

OK, so it’s been awhile. Well, family comes first, and the holidays are fast approaching. I keep saying “I ought to blog something”, and I keep putting it off because other things are keeping me busy. Besides, after spending literally the whole day on computers, I don’t have much drive to look at a screen when I get home. At least, not beyond checking my email and balancing my checkbook.

Things I’ve been busy with:

A certain little boy had some medical testing. Fortunately it showed there was no medical explanation for his memory issues. (MRI brain normal, full blood workup normal.) The doctor said to consider him as “a variation of normal”. He said don’t worry as long as he’s performing well in school, not having behavioral problems, and not having memory issues which endanger him or anyone else. It’s funny, the disconnect between the medical and educational systems. Because of how funding works, the educational system wants to label anyone who is different as learning disabled. In fact, a teacher I spoke to recently said almost every student is signed up for some type of learning support, and there’s no longer a stigma associated with it. However, from a medical point of view, there is nothing wrong with the child. Hmmm.

The Thanksgiving Holiday came and went. We attended a community Thanksgiving feast that my MIL’s church particpiates in. The mayor attends. Several of my MIL’s odler friends attend. A few years ago, my MIL decided she’d rather do that than throw a big shindig. It is decidedly easier – and they do send you home with leftovers. But for me, it falls short of being celebratory. You just don’t get that hanging out time and that special stress time. I dunno. I might suggest that next year we host something ourselves. I’m not one who wants to do a big turkey in the oven, but I’ve discovered that a few legs and breats in the 5qt crockpot are perfect.

Cleaning and decorating for the Holidays.

Snow, cold, and the result that kids stay in the house constantly. (Not enough snow to be fun.)

Setting up a crafting space in the basement. This involved moving the freezer, and moving my supply “cabinet” from upstairs to downstairs. I also gathered various supplies from all over the house and took them down there. And I will probably move my sewing machine down there. If I can’t move the whole thing, I’ll unscrew it from the cabinet and just take the machine.

DIY Christmas Cards – This is a tradition I thoroughly enjoy, but am alone in creating. The boys used to help, but they’ve grown out of it. Alex likes the idea that we put a personal touch on our cards, but he’s not interested in helping either. This year I’ve got 78 customers and about 50 friends/family to make cards for. Each year it is a challenge to come up with a design that is simple and inexpensive enough to make enmasse, but still attractive. It should look “hand-crafted” but not cheesy.

Card lists, wish lists, gift lists, gift crafting/sewing projects, shopping, making things.

Shadow and the vet. Shadow is our 15 year old cat. He’s had a behavioral problem with the litter box for a few years, but we’d been dealing with it. More specifically, I’d been mopping urine up from beside the litterbox every morning. He was to the vet a few years ago, and they determined he didn’t have a urinary tract problem. He had a heart murmur, but there really wasn’t much they could do about that. They tried to give him antibiotics anyway, but that made him sicker, so we gave up. I’ve tried various things – extra boxes, different litters, moving boxes around, different foods, etc. Nothing helped. Then a few weeks ago he peed on the office chair and the futon. OK, at that point he crossed the line from quirky to BAD KITTY. He went into the cat carrier with a tiny litterbox and towel, and I made a vet appt for last Saturday. The tests and appointment were $225. The results came back. The good news is there’s no urinary, kidney, liver, or other problem identified with the exception of being anemic. (Apparently, kitties that don’t feel well express themselves by peeing whereever they feel like peeing.) The bad news is, that means they want to do more testing to determine the cause of the anemia. In kitties, anemia isn’t an iron deficiency, but a symptom of some other disease – one website said there are about 75 possibilities. Our doctor wants to start with Feline Lukemia/HIV tests, another blood test, and xrays. That’s another $150. Meanwhile, back at the home front, Shadow has been happily going in his litterbox in his carrier, or in the basement box if we take him down there. Of course, he doesn’t have a chance to pee anywhere else, because he only gets out of his box if he’s supervised. If this continues, we might get the behavioral problem licked, in which case I don’t know if we’ll pursue much medically…15 for a cat is like 92 for a human…really, if he’s not in pain now, I don’t know how much stress/pain I’d want to put him through to solve the anemia which isn’t bothering him.

Hubby and the great mouth guard caper.About a month ago, he started grinding his teeth in his sleep. It didn’t wake him up, but it woke me up. It sounded like a blender full of ice going off beside my ear. He also ended up with some jaw pain. He went to the dentist, who took a mold to make a ceramic mouth guard that clips in for him to wear while he sleeps – it is sort of like a retainer. It is supposed to keep the teeth in such a position that you don’t do the grinding. The problem is, they apparently weren’t made for guys with a jaw that shuts like a crocodile. He keeps breaking it – literally shattering it. They keep made a new one. He bit on it during the fitting, and it cracked. They ground off the cracked part and fit it again. He bit down, and it shattered. I keep telling him he needs to just buy a football or boxing mouth guard and be done with it. He goes back today.

Quotes and Books

December 5th, 2007 . by maria

“The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret” –
Unknown

“If evil be said of thee, and if it be true, correct thyself; if it be a lie, laugh at it.” – Epictetus

“When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical.” – Unknown

“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.” – Albert Schweitzer

Albert Einstein: “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”

• When we rationalize things we tend to cut ourselves slack and lean towards the option with the least effort.
• The more excuses I make the more tedious it gets, the less polished my skills.
– Baron VC , http://baron.vc/things-that-running-teaches-you-about-life

Everytime money changes hands, the Government gets a little piece of it. In theory, if money changes hands often enough, THE GOVERNMENT GETS ALL OF IT!! -Anonymous

Recent good-looking books from Gutenberg:

A Martian Odyssey by Stanley Grauman Weinbaum > http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/23731

They had some Shakespeare and DH Lawrence up recently, too, but I didn’t save the links. Check it out at http://www.gutenberg.org/