November 2008


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Our entire IT department (of 100+ people) recently had our annual meeting to talk about accomplishments over the last year, upcoming developments/projects, and to review general company things that may impact our department.  One of things management did, and they may have done this in years past of which I do not recall, was to give achievement awards to top performers (though there are so many people who give so much effort and time anyway!).  At a much needed time to feel like I was making a difference, I [unexpectedly] received one of these achievement awards.  Just receiving an award wouldn’t be significant, but was said about my performance is what really hit home.  I am very thankful that my company, my manager (Jennifer), and others have allowed me to grow and use some of my creativity to assist in various things in the IT realm.  Before I become overly explanitive, here is what was said about me.  Note that this was primarily written by Jennifer, additions added by the VP (Greg), and finalization by the GVP (Jim).  Again, I am very thankful and truly do feel like I’m making an impact.

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This person started with Archstone in late 2003, and quickly proved his motivation and interest in learning new things.  At that time in the company we were experiencing virus outbreaks due to our computers being unmanaged.   Computers were built up manually, software was installed manually, and security updates were not enforced.  We needed a tool, and a person to administer the tool.  Because of the qualities this person held, he was given an opportunity to prove himself in that role.

After this associate’s 4 ½ years in the SMS Administrator role, he has taken our manual processes and created images for computers, packages to deploy updates and software installs, and has removed most of the human intervention involved with preparing a new workstation.  He has also went from being an ordinary member of a Denver SMS user group meeting to being the one people want to talk to for technical or process advice.

The Systems team’s maintenance windows are now heavily dependent on his expertise and in his short time helping SYSOPS he has already improved the accuracy of server patching and helping to bring all systems to a consistent patch level.  In addition to that work with the Systems team, we are undergoing a project to upgrade SMS to the latest version called SCCM 2007.  He plays a lead role in that project and his experience/knowledge are instrumental in the project’s success.

Because of the importance of keeping our computers secure and the fast changing IT environment, he is always extremely busy.  I can’t count how many times I have seen him notice someone struggling or overhear a conversation about a new process we want to implement and he, no matter how busy he is, jumps in with a smile and says, I can help, or I can automate that.  He works with a smile and has a sense of humor that would rival the best of us.

Our environment would not be as secure and our computers as easy for ArchTech to manage if it weren’t for the constant consistent efforts of Nicolas Moseley. 

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Kara received an early notification today that she passed the exam to become a fully licensed special education teacher!  And with flying colors at 88% too!!  A very big congratulations to her!!!

My brother, a college senior, had his last regular season home game recently. I was able to visit to watch their 3-2 OT victory against Sterling. The evening weather was decently warm instead of bitterly cold, so I felt comfortable pulling out my camera. There was just enough light for me to snap photos, even with the action. Alex and the Friends University soccer team won their last true home game 5 to 3, a ‘playoff seeding’ game against rival Bethel, with Alex scoring 2 goals. They begin their playoff race this Friday… good luck Boofy!

In mid-October, Kara and I took an extended weekend trip to the lands of the far Northwest for a pseudo reunion, pre-Christmas gathering with Kara’s folks, brother (and his family) , grandparents, and other family in the Bellingham area.  With much luck, it did not rain for the entire weekend.

The trip began by us uniting with Josh, Teresa, and Silas in the Denver airport, from which all of us had the same flight into Seattle.  Once we arrived in Seattle, we rented a ghetto mini van and made our way up the coast to Bellingham where the folks and grandparents were awaiting us.  The first evening was mostly spent around the dinner table and living room, just catching up and talking.

Saturday was the first big adventure.  After breakfast, all of us (well, not the grandparents) drove up to Vancouver, BC, Canada.  After crossing the border, the beautiful, forest lush, rolling ‘mountains’, turned into wide-open farm lands.  The transition is very similar to going from the foothills of Colorado to eastern Colorado.  When we finally made it into Vancouver, our first order of business was lunch.  We found a nice little park with a picnic table across the bay from airport.  Silas enjoyed watching the planes take off and land with such close proximity.

Next, we made our way to the downtown area and over to the famous Stanley Park.  I’ll tell you what, this park alone is worth going back to Vancouver.  It is a 1,000 acre lush forest park with hiking trails throughout, various visitor attractions and parks, ginormous trees, and a fantastic view of the city.  Our brief time there was enough to convince Kara and I to return for vacation some time in the future!  Next we trekked to China town, which is supposedly one of the largest in all North America.  We walked around a little, stopped for coffee, and finished off the evening with an authentic family style Chinese dinner.

Sunday was a day for family time.  Breakfast again, church together, and lunch at Denny’s with the Kara’s Aunt LeAnn, Uncle Ken, and cousins Amanda and Brian.  To say the least, Denny’s wasn’t prepared for a group of 11 people to suddenly show up when the restaurant was already full!  To their credit, they graciously opened the banquet room to seat and serve us.  Afterwards, we made our way back to the farm for a couple of hours together for family pictures, play time, carrot ‘harvesting’, laughter, etc.

That evening, we went to visit Ed and Goldie Karber, who are close family friends.  They took us for a drive through their quint little town of Linden, took us out for coffee at the local joint (NOT STARBUCKS!), and finally out for ice cream, which had been promised to Silas.  It was a pleasant evening and good end to the weekend.

Below are a several pictures from the trip.  Enjoy!