Behind the Brain Power

Behind the Brain Power | Happy Halloween

Behind the Brain Power Blog Series

Each month, the guys share their opinions, experiences, and recommendations on various technology topics. However, this month they wanted to get a little more personable. We asked the guys to share their favorite Halloween story or memory – whether it had anything to do with technology or not! Happy October – and stay tuned next week for the BECA Cubicle Decorating Contest!

Mike Estep | President: Halloween, my best memory is a time long-long ago at FSU when a lovely lady agreed to dress up with me for an event, little did I know almost 30 years later we would still be dressing up together!



Branden Smith | Vice President: I was in the Boy Scouts growing up, and one year we took to the Troop on a fall camp out.  My good friend Jason and I were in charge of the camp out and planning the activities.  My brother Shannon was with us as well… Shannon is 6 years younger than me.  Dad was one of the leaders, so even though Shannon was too young to be a Scout he went on most of the trips with us.  Jason and I decided that we would tell ghost stories around the campfire and then scare the pants off the other scouts.  During the campfire, Jason slipped away from the fire and hid in the woods nearby.  Once everyone had finished telling their scary stories I took the Troop for a night hike.  Jason was hiding under a poncho (wearing a werewolf mask) in the middle of the trail we were on.  When we got really close to him he stood up, screamed and ran at us.  All of the boys scattered… except one.  Shannon squatted down and began screaming.  As soon as Jason got close, he jumped on Jason and began hitting him as hard as he could!  Fight or flight is a real thing!  I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t help either of them.  When the dust settled Shannon was still scared and Jason had a bloody nose.  Our prank was not very Scout-Like behavior, but created a memory that we all still laugh about!


Sean Barron | Chief Technology Architect: During Halloween I am reminded of several IT Horror stories I have lived through during my 20-year career in IT.  One that comes to mind happened a good 12-13 years ago.  We had just started a relationship with a company and had done a couple of small IT projects for them when we got a panicked call from their Controller that nobody could log onto the network. They had an Exchange Server and an Active Directory Domain Controller.  Just one Active Directory Domain Controller.  After some further investigation I found out that the AD Controller had mirrored hard drives and one of the hard drives had failed. Upon reboot it gave an error message that indicated maybe the boot sector was not setup right on the mirrored drive.  This was a fairly common scenario back in those days and easy to work around with a boot floppy.  …But… while the customer waited for me to arrive onsite they remembered reading somewhere that if you pulled the hard drive out and “whacked” it hard on something, it might start working again.  Being impatient the customer took it upon themselves to execute this procedure.  Unfortunately, they guessed wrong, and wound up executing the remaining drive in the mirror set that was probably still good.

To make matters even better, the customer had stopped backing up their AD Controller OS drive, because they couldn’t fit it on a tape anymore with their ever growing Exchange backup.  Active Directory was gone.  We were able to get replacement drives, reinstall the OS and recreate Active Directory, but of course that didn’t help Exchange, as even though the AD Domain had the same name the Exchange components where gone from AD, so we had to rebuilt the Exchange Server. Luckily they did have a tape backup so we were able to restore their Mailbox data.  …tick…tock…tick…tock…went the clock all night long during the painfully slow restore. Remember, these were the days of slow OS installations and even slower backup\recovery software.  The process was slow and painful and the customer was down for several days.

But that isn’t the worst part.  300 Users and 300 computers joined to AD, all the computers had to be rejoined to the Domains and every PC’s profile had to be migrated from the old domain profile to the new domain profile.  Hours upon hours …tick…tock…tick…tock…we feverishly worked to get the customer back up and running, sustaining ourselves on Mountain Dew and junk food, catching short naps when we could.

Halloween brings up lots of scary imagery for people, but for me, some of the scariest of times have been the hours upon hours I have been involved helping customers recover from IT Emergencies.  The constant worry about whether or not you were going to be able to recover the customer and get them back to their business, the pressure and stress, then the feeling of satisfaction when the job was done.  Followed by the exhausted collapse into sleep, only to recover for the next IT Horror story.


Robert Rivers | Business Development Director: My favorite Halloween memory is a thrilling story.

It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking in the dark. Under the moonlight, you see a sight that almost stops your heart. You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it

You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes. You’re paralyzed. ‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night. And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about strike. You know it’s thriller, thriller night. You’re fighting for your life inside a killer, thriller tonight. You hear the door slam and realize there’s nowhere left to run. You feel the cold hand and wonder if you’ll ever see the sun. You close your eyes and hope that this is just imagination, girl! But all the while you hear the creature creeping up behind. You’re out of time. ‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night. There ain’t no second chance against the thing with forty eyes, girl. Thriller, thriller night.

You’re fighting for your life inside a killer, thriller tonight. Night creatures calling, the dead start to walk in their masquerade. There’s no escaping the jaws of the alien this time. (They’re open wide). This is the end of your life. They’re out to get you, there’s demons closing in on every side. They will possess you unless you change that number on your dial. Now is the time for you and I to cuddle close together, yeah. All through the night I’ll save you from the terror on the screen. I’ll make you see. That this is thriller, thriller night. ‘Cause I can thrill you more than any ghost would ever dare try. Thriller, thriller night. So let me hold you tight and share a Killer, diller, chiller, thriller here tonight. ‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night. Girl, I can thrill you more than any ghost would ever dare try. Thriller, thriller night. So let me hold you tight and share a killer, thriller, ow! (I’m gonna thrill ya tonight). Darkness falls across the land. The midnight hour is close at hand. Creatures crawl in search of blood. To terrorize y’alls neighborhood. I’m gonna thrill ya tonight, ooh baby. I’m gonna thrill ya tonight, oh darlin’. Thriller night, baby, ooh! The foulest stench is in the air. The funk of forty thousand years. And grizzly ghouls from every tomb. Are closing in to seal your doom. And though you fight to stay alive. Your body starts to shiver. For no mere mortal can resist. The evil of the thriller.

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