Thursday, August 06, 2009

Philmont 1993

I happened to see a local troop's Philmont group photo on the web the other day and I've been wanting to get mine scanned. Here it is:

Top Row:
Andy Greib, Paul Thomas, Larry Thomas, Shawn Mitchell, and Mike Stumpfoil (Stumpy)

Bottom Row:
Jeremiah (the messiah) Cheipellie, Joseph Durnal (me), Bob (the Ranger), Dave Leasure (McLeasure), Ian Hays.

This and the troop sailing trip the year later are some of the best memories of my teen years.

Difficulty with IIS and port binding

I was having a problem when trying to use the same server for the Exchange 2007 server with the client access role and Office Communications Server edge server role. I know that this is far from best practice, but when you work with small businesses, sometimes the functionality desired exceeds the number of servers the budget can support, especially when they just bought a brand new 64 bit server with a 16 gigabytes of ram which is clearly underutilized.

The problem was with binding port 443 for both Outlook Web Access and the Web Conferencing edge service. Even though I had configured IIS to use one IP address and the OCS edge to use another.

netstat -a showed port 443 listening on the IP that I had assigned in IIS, but when I tried to start the OCS Web Conferencing edge, it would fail, with the event log indicating that it couldn't bind to the port because it was in use. netstat -a also showed and [::]:443, meaning that it was still listening on all assigned IP addresses, including IPV6 even though it wasn't enabled. I verified that the OWA site was the problem by stopping the default web site, and starting the OCS Web Conferencing edge service, which worked.

The solution presented itself through the netsh command, which has saved me several times. From a command prompt:

netsh http>sho iplisten (blank by default)
netsh http>add iplisten
netsh http>sho iplisten (shows the OWA IP address)
netsh http>exit

I verified that it worked by typing netstat -a, and it wasn't listening on or [::]:443 anymore. Even more convincing was that with IIS and the default website running, I was able to start the OCS Web Conferencing edge service.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Cub World at Camp William B. Snyder Day Three

I managed to wake up late again, so we missed the religious service, but using the coffee delivered to camp before I woke I was able to get Alex to the morning assembly and breakfast. After the morning assembly clue, I had a good idea who Ripley was, and the rest of the clues just confirmed it.

The first activity was Archery, and Alex is good at Archery, he was the best boy in the group, getting one bull’s eye and getting most of his arrows in the target. I did have to remind him several times not to grab the bowstring with all four fingers. There was plenty of space for Adults to shoot as well, so, I took the chance, as I like Archery too. I happened to be the best adult there, aside from the staff member running the station, Archery has always come naturally to me, I should probably do it more often.

It was a long walk to handicraft, and it had started to rain again. The boys didn’t seem to mind. While they were playing hide and seek in Akela’s village, I sat under the pavilion with a Scouter from pack 570 in Frederick Maryland. After talking to him for just a little bit, I thought to myself, I hope I can eventually get to the point of being as dedicated to scouting as he. After their game, the boys made leather arrowhead neckerchief slides. Alex did really well, he got a couple of twists in his wrap that I caught early enough for him to fix, and I helped him with the knots and a few tough parts, but it is mostly boy made.

The sun had come out again, just in time for lunch. I was hoping that they would put the flags up again, but they didn’t. Immediately following lunch we went back to camp and packed up our gear and put it in the car. It was quite a walk from camp to the car; fortunately, our stuff got a ride, so we didn’t have to carry it the whole way.

It was time for the pool again, which Alex has said several times was his favorite part. I was able to get him to focus on some actual swimming this time. He sinks like a rock, but then again, I think all kids do! Despite his lack of buoyancy, once we started working on swimming, he showed some promise. To try and give him something to look forward to, I took a couple of trips down the water slide, where you have to be a swimmer to go. Hopefully he’ll remember this when I’m trying to teach him to swim in the future. The water slides were a ton of fun!

Our final scheduled station was the fort, which is where BB shooting took place. Before BB shooting, the boys learned a bit about branding, and got to pick out a brand and see it put on a piece of leather. They seemed to enjoy this part, but were anxious to go and shoot BBs. But before that, they visited the fort saloon for some finger printing, which left them with black fingers. We had lost a couple of boys from our group that went home early by this time, something we found to be a shame, but it was a long weekend to this point, and part of me wanted to get home too. Finally, they got to go on the BB range. This time, Alex wore the safety goggles over his glasses, and shot very well, again, I think he was the best shooter in the group.

Then it was back to the dining hall dinner and the final flag ceremony. I noticed that they had put the flags back up while we were at the fort. First we stopped at the car so Alex could change into his uniform. We used his freshly made neckerchief slide, which Alex seemed to like, realizing that he had made it himself and it looked good and was useful too. I’m sure Alex will, as I did when I was a cub scout, make many neckerchief slides.

Following dinner was the closing campfire. We lost another member from our group, and Alex and I were the only ones left from our camp site. Several of the packs did skits, most of which were quite good. Several involved the boys playing the parts of some of the camp staff. One involved a boy sitting down reading the paper, with other boys coming to him with all sorts of camp problems only to be blown off, then the final boy says “hey Eric, there is a basketball game in the pool” and he gets up, drops the paper, and runs off stage! It was great! Then the staff did a very good skit! Then came the moment we had been waiting for, the identity of Ripley Jebediah Hemingway was revealed. I was right, and though that whole theme was a little over Alex’s head, he still seemed to enjoy it. After the staff sung Scout vespers the final time, we departed. I said to the camp director “We’ll be back”.

What a great Cub Scout program.

Cub World at Camp William B. Snyder Day Two

I slept in a little, so Alex and I had to rush to breakfast, just making it to assembly before. The best part was that coffee was delivered to camp, so, I was able to fuel up for the walk to the dining hall! Alex was at a loss for words for the pack check in procedure, so, he just said “Pack 285 is here”. Other packs, most with a lot more boys, had nifty little cheers, like “Pack 35 is alive” etc. Some simply said “Pack ### all present and accounted for, sir”, mimicking the staff patrols.

After breakfast was the big dig. The boys really seemed to enjoy it, the setup was that Ripley had hidden clues in the sand, and the boys had to find them. They really liked entering through the tunnel. After finding all the buried clues, which added up to look in the tower, the staff climbed into the tower and retrieved the clue box.

After the big dig, the group moved on to nature, but instead, I took Alex to the pool for his swim test. I didn’t expect him to even make beginner, but he wanted to try, and I knew that it would be good for him to try, so, he jumped into water over his head, freaked a little, kicked himself up and grabbed the wall, end of swim test. As they were filling out our buddy tags, I mentioned that there was no need for me to pass the swim test if Alex was a non swimmer, but they told me that I would need to be a swimmer to take Alex, a non swimmer on a boat. I didn’t want to miss nature, so I didn’t take the swim test right away. Alex missed some of nature, but he enjoyed what he saw, he liked looking at all the insects in bottles. They talked about geology, something Alex had already done, and used a baking soda and vinegar volcano to learn about the scientific method. We got a great clue at nature! That Ripley had earned a congressional award. Now, these aren’t your ordinary summer camp staff people, they are some of the best and brightest that the Boy Scouts of America has to offer, and several had earned congressional medals.

Next came lunch and siesta. We didn’t really use the siesta time for taking a nap, we worked on the scavenger hunt with others from our camp instead. Alex wasn’t liking that too much unfortunately. I guess, not everything that seems fun to adults works for kids, at least not all the time. We did pass a neat looking caterpillar though, that held his attention for a bit.

After lunch and siesta was the pool session. Alex didn’t seem to mind being limited to the non-swimmer section of the pool. While he was with his buddy, I took my swim test, which consisted of swimming the length of the pool four times, three face down, and one on your back. The first three lengths were no trouble, but when I was on my back, I could not swim straight at all, I think I covered two lengths zigzagging. I got my buddy tag updated as a swimmer and joined Alex in the shallow end.

The final scheduled session of the day was the ship. On the ship they learned about port, starboard, bow, and stern. They all got to raise some flags, followed by a life jacket drill where they all had 20 seconds to get their life jackets on. With their life jackets on, they climbed down the cargo net for some more activities inside the ship. They had to figure out a code to open the ammunition boxes filled with water bombs, which culminated in a water bomb battle, where Captain Shea got the worst of it I think.

They encourage the boys to wear their uniforms for dinner, and Alex wore his for all three. While not all of the boys wear them, I like the uniform and I encourage (ok, sometimes force) Alex to wear it whenever he has the opportunity. The ham for dinner Saturday night was great! Alex didn’t eat his, so, I ate it for him!

After dinner was free time, there were several activities available. Alex chose the planetarium, boating (paddle boats), and BB shooting. All good choices, except the planetarium was very hot inside. We enjoyed learning about constellations, and the boys got a good demonstration on how and why Polaris stays in the same spot in the sky, and how to find it. The most anticipated activity of the evening for Alex was the boats, which is why I took the swim test! I think this may have been Alex’s first time ever on a boat of any kind and it was very exciting for him. My camera batteries died while taking pictures at boating, but I got a few. Our final free time event was BB shooting, which Alex enjoyed, even though he didn’t hit the target at all. He had taken his glasses off to put on the safety goggles, and it was starting to get dark. It is amazing how much fun a boy can have missing a target five times!

Back at camp we started a fire. I pretty much left that up to the other dads that were there, mainly because I forgot my matches, but I am one heck of a fire maker and couldn’t help but help keep their flame growing after they used up about three quarters of a Washington post. We roasted some marshmallows and turned in for the night, well, Alex turned in and I took a shower. Overnight we had heavy rain for a considerable period of time, starting with some strong thunder storms, with the thunder coming basically the same time as the lightning a few times. We didn’t get too wet, so that was good, and Alex slept through the whole thing!

Cub World at Camp William B. Snyder Day One

Alex and I left for camp at about three o’clock in the afternoon on Friday. After driving for about one and one half hours we arrived at Camp William B. Snyder in Haymarket, Virginia. We were late, check in was supposed to start at one o’clock, so, we had to do a little rushing around getting our stuff to camp and getting ready for the first assembly and dinner and we missed all of the orientations, including the swim test.

Just before each meal, was an assembly outside of the dining hall where all of the scouts and staff would gather report in. Before breakfast and dinner were flag ceremonies performed by the camp staff who set an excellent example for the boys. There were four staff patrols, each would do a little skit before the flag ceremony, and some of them were great, getting good laughs from both the boys and their parents. Dinner was great, but the process was even better. Having missed most of the orientation, it was a little confusing at first. Basically, before the assembly, we would set up the table, putting the chairs down, and getting dishes and silver ware placed, but most importantly, selecting a totem. While we were outside at assembly, the kitchen staff would deliver the meals to each table on platters and in serving bowls. After eating, the (staff person, Kirby, whose title I can’t remember, but sort of in charge) would give a few announcements and say “What time is it?” to which all would reply, “Song Time!” and then they would spin the “wheel of song” that would choose the staff group that would lead that meal’s song. Clean up was interesting too, after singing, the kitchen staff person would ask us to throw away all of our trash and uneaten food, clearing it from all the dishes. Then they’d call for specific items to be brought to the dish washing area. This was also a little confusing at first, but we got the hang of it.

After cleaning up following dinner we again assembled for the opening campfire. This is where the fun really started. The staff had some great skits, really great skits, all setting up for the weekend’s theme: The Cub World Detective Agency with a mission to find out which staff member was Ripley Jebediah Hemingway, an ‘enemy’ secret agent. For each camp session, the camp director draws a name from a list of staff members and puts it in a box, and then places several clues in boxes for each station and saves some clues to be given out at assembly before meals. At the end of the campfire, the staff sung Scout vespers and we returned to camp for lights out.