September 2004 full listing

30. September, 2004 - junketing

Yesterday was a good day, but not a productive one. Went on a tour of the proposed WhiteWater Park on the river in the afternoon with a bunch of regulators and politicians and had a pretty good time. I actually got to walk out on the land where the Lower Hydrostation collapsed in 1987 and see the Southeast Steam Plant from the river side. The U has done a nice job on that building, and I’ll have pictures one of these days when I get some spare time, but not today.

Update: the pictures are here.

29. September, 2004 - it’s like déjà vu all over again

Much like last week, I find myself on Wednesday, still behind, and wishing the week was over already.

28. September, 2004 - here we go again

Another day, another schedule that didn’t work the way I planned. You’ve heard it before. Not much else to say at the moment.

27. September, 2004 - cold or allergies?

Once again, I’m stuck wondering whether I’ve caught a cold or am being hammered particularly hard by allergies. In any case, my energy-level is low this morning, and my brain is full of snot. Don’t expect particularly witty commentary today.

Saturday was Saintoberfest. Attendance was lower than I figured, but what the heck. Dave & Candy and Bruce & Lynn won third place in the tailgating contest, behind the guys who deep fry a turkey (it was nice that regulars in the parking lot won first place) and some ringers who are professional tailgaters, entering contests like that when there are cash rewards. Me, I took a day off from thinking about cooking and just heated up some meatballs, tater-tots and chicken wings. Adam (the celebrity judge) said that if I’d had the wings in the contest, we would have won, since he loves chicken wings - mental note made. Sorry guys. I also sampled a bunch of beers. I particularly liked Big Sky Brewing’s Scape Goat Pale Ale and Uinta Brewing’s Solstice. Also of note, Sconnie Brewery is only thirty miles from Viking Brewing. I think there’s a road-trip in my future.

Pile of branches
Pile of branches
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Yesterday was better than I expected. Trip to mom’s, then home. Nearly ran into my neighbor as I was pulling in to my garage. She was cleaning out her garage and making a huge pile of stuff for the trash guys. That, and her complaints that “my bushes” (the folks I bought the house from put in a bunch of things on the property line - I don’t think of them particlarly as mine though) were rubbing on her house spurred me into heading out with the clippers to trim back the various shrubbery that grows between our houses. A couple hours later, I had a blister, a pile of branches almost as big as a Camaro, and what feels like another three feet of yard. I can now mow all the way to the property line without getting a facefull of leaves and branches, and it makes me strangely happy. The only problem is that now I have to turn that pile of branches into something the city will take away for me.

24. September, 2004 - Friday

Does it count as Friday when you wake up at 1:30 in the morning and can’t go back to sleep so you decide to do the morning blogging a little early and try to get some more shut-eye once that’s done? I’m just asking.

23. September, 2004 - fall now

The weather forecast for yesterday missed in a pretty big way. They were predicting rain for most of the day on Tuesday night, and I woke up expecting a grey day. But by about 7am the rain had stopped and the sky had cleared, and it was a bright sunshiney day (and a lot warmer than I expected). That was nice for the drive up to mom’s and for mowing the lawn when I got home, but my thought last week that I wouldn’t need an air conditioner again this season was overly optimistic.

As for work, the less said about that the better. I guess a quick version would be I’ve had more productive weeks. If my energy-level were a publicly traded stock this week, analysts would be talking about a meltdown. And that’s already more than I really want to say about it.

Oh well, it’s Thursday. That means that the (fully-booked) weekend sort of begins tomorrow. Something to look forward to, I guess.

22. September, 2004 - still raining

A couple notes: the Saints season recap is still waiting for the last of the photos to come back from Target. They should be here tomorrow, so I would normally try to put things together over the weekend, but with the Saintoberfest on Saturday, I may not find the time. I haven’t forgotten it, though.

Middle of the week already, too. I think this is a week I’d just as soon take a mulligan on. And the weather today isn’t going to help much. Rain thoughout the day. Ditto tomorrow.

21. September, 2004 - Unsettled

Yesterday: not such a good day. I started out in the morning trying to do a few things around the house before getting to work for the day, and everything I touched turned to crap. I went to move the palm (of some sort - I have no idea what exact flavor it was) in my living room, since it was leaning over in the pot, and when I did, the trunk snapped off. Seems I had overwatered it, and the trunk had turned to mush. Crud. I liked that plant.

Other attempts to impose some sort of order on my surroundings were met with further proof that entropy rules the universe. By ten AM I was completely demoralized, and decided to call mom to let her know that I wouldn’t be driving up for lunch. That pushed me into a deeper funk, since trying to explain why I “sounded low” was fine the first time, but when I had to repeat it for the third time, it was just too much. I gave up for the day, and went back to bed.

About three PM, when the ringing phone woke me for the third time, I decided to crawl out of bed and at least take care of the absolute minimum needed for the day. Lunch was cooked, trash and recycling were hauled out (including the plant-corpse), and laundry, dishes and me were washed up. The passive voice is completely appropriate, since it didn’t feel as though I was doing much, but things were happening near me. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I was depressed yesterday.

On top of that, my computer is now crashing every time it sleeps and wakes up. I suspect my new scanner, since there’s a ton of noise in the system log about USB events that quit when I unplug it, but I can’t even find anything else that would lead me to what the problem might be. Bleh.

And yes, the weather is unsettled, too. Rain overnight, and sometime in the next couple days we’re going to move into fall, not only in terms of our progress around the sun, but also in terms of temperatures. I like fall a lot, but I’m not so keen on the thought that it’s going to be winter before too much longer, and I not only haven’t gotten the new sidewalk in that I wanted before winter, but I don’t have the money to get it done anytime soon. And with some recent shakeups in the client list around here, I’m going to have to work harder at finding new work if I want to be able to afford much anything.

20. September, 2004 - Saints win NL Championship

It was a pretty darned satisfying weekend. Friday night, the Saints lost, but there was a party at Uncle Dan’s after the game, and that eased the pain a bit. In addition, Dan has a miniature schnauzer named Pepper, who I played with for a while out there, and no allergy problems at all. Time to put schnauzers back on the list of possible dogs.

Saturday saw a win from the Saints, as Verdugo pitched a 4-hit complete game shutout. I didn’t do much else during the day except for buying supplies for a possible Sunday game. The rest was much-needed, and the game was a great preformance by Verdugo.

And then there was yesterday. Whew. Out to the game early (though not as early as hoped) to get breakfast in before noon. Was out of butane for the cool little stove, so I ended up cooking breakfast on the grill (with a frying pan for the eggs). Then there was the game. The Saints were playing well, but behind much of the game. They won it, getting their first NL championship since 1996 (I hadn’t realized it had been that long). After the game, I cooked up some snacks out in the parking lot and fed many people, then off to KFAN the Restaurant for the party. Someone had put up a sign saying that the big party room was for players and staff only. I almost left, but then Derek came out and invited us all into the party. Fun was had, and we got to talk to some of the players for what will almost certainly be the last time.

I plan to do a full recap of the season at some point, with pictures, but it’s not done yet. Heck, it’s not even started. I’m still recovering from yesterday, and as the articles I linked to say, it was one heckuva game. I’m pretty sure it’s the best ball-game I’ve ever seen. There were only two errors, and the Saints rally in the bottom of the ninth had the small crowd wound up and even though there were only about a thousand fans at the game, we were making regular-season weeknight levels of noise. When Mirizzi hit his grand slam, I was worried there would be a gust of wind that would blow it foul, but it stayed fair, and there was much rejoicing.

If you were looking for links for anything other than the Saints today, I’m going to disappoint you. Stop back tomorrow and there’ll be something else.

17. September, 2004 - Championship?

Tonight the Saints are home, playing game three of the Northern League Championship. The weather sounds like it should be pretty decent, and with the series currently tied at one, we’re guaranteed games tonight and tomorrow. As with last weekend, I hope that’s all we see, since the Saints aren’t exactly stunning on Sundays.

I’m not sure what it is, but even before the Saints made the championship, this weekend was already seriously overbooked. Tonight there’s a party out in the ’burbs I may try to get to after the game. Tomorrow, there’s the neighborhood cookout in the evening, Scott & Kat are having a beer-tasting, and there’s a party for International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Sunday there may be a game. I was planning a trip up to mom’s, but since I had to make an emergency trip up there yesterday (mom was having a bad day), I might not head up there again until Monday. With any luck, the Saints will win tonight and tomorrow, and I’ll be able to spend Sunday sleeping.

But meanwhile, I’ve got to get through today. There’s work to be done, bills to be paid, banking to be done (to deposit money to cover the cash I had to pull from the ATM yesterday for the trip to mom’s yesterday and the checks I write to pay bills this morning), and a game to prepare for. At least the food and beer have already been bought. I’m almost out of food to cook on the grill, but that’s just fine. I’ll manage to empty the little freezer by sometime early next week, and can defrost it before I stock it full of comfort food for the winter. I know, I know, I like being busy, but I also like being able to have a day now and again to just do nothing at all, and they seem to have been in short supply lately.

Finally, there will definitely be a posting either tomorrow or Sunday to wrap up the Saints season. If I don’t get my thoughts about the season written up soon after the season, it won’t ever happen. Oh yeah, and there’s still the quest for a dog, but I didn’t make it to the meet & greet last night, and I suspect the hunt is off until Monday at the earliest, unless Sunday . Thanks to everyone who has offered suggestions and encouragement.

16. September, 2004 - rainy, dogs

Yesterday, when I did my update for the day, I thought the rain was just about done. I was sadly mistaken. It rained most of the day, except for about a one-hour stretch in the early afternoon when I went out for lunch. My timing was good, at least. But the rain has really screwed things up for folks in Austin and Albert Lea.

Sometimes gloomy days work out really well for me, being an excuse to stay inside and get a ton of work done. Yesterday wasn’t one of those. The clear blue sky at lunchtime fooled me into thinking it might be a nice afternoon, and then when the clouds and rain moved back in, my motivation went went somewhere else with the nice weather. I did get to open up the windows last night and let in some fresh air. The humidity is back down to comfortable levels, and from the look of the forecast, I may well be done with the air conditioners for the year.

On the dog front, I visited both the Hennepin County and St. Paul animal shelters on Tuesday and played with a couple dogs. Both were nice dogs, and both made my allergies tweak out big-time. I’m going to try the greyhound meet & greet tonight I think, and see how I do with those dogs, but if that doesn’t work, I’ll probably have to give up on the idea of adopting a dog and start calling around to buy one. That’s not a huge crisis, but the biggest issue is that I prefer mutts, and when you go out to buy a dog, it’s a lot easier to find purebred ones than it is to find mutts.

I’ve been poking around, and other than the greyhounds, I’ve gone through the AKC’s list of breeds that are generally good for people with allergies, and looked up the information on the personalities of the breeds I didn’t know about, and I think I’ve narrowed the list of breeds to:

Some of those are ones I would have dismissed as foo-foo dogs when I was younger, but now I’m not so sure. I’ll still want to check out an adult to see what the personality is like, but I think I could deal with a foo-foo dog as long as it’s not yappy. I think I’d rather get an adult than a puppy at this point, too. Puppies are cute and all, but I’m far from certain I have the time and energy to raise one right. Guess we’ll see how it turns out.

15. September, 2004 - thunder

It was stormy with thunder and lightning when I went to bed last night, and it’s still making flashes outside this morning. Impressive weather last night, and I find myself wishing I had a porch where I could have spent the night watching the weather, rather than sleeping through it. There’s a part of me that’s still a kid, fascinated by heavy weather. Sadly, there’s a larger part that’s forty and conks out around ten pm every evening.

Being older is part of why I definitely wouldn’t want to be living through the heavy weather that’s going to be hitting the gulf coast soon. When Camille hit that part of the world, it scoured away most of the stuff people had built along the coast, and while Ivan’s not as strong, there’s more stuff to be wrecked this time around, too. At least it seems as if people are evacuating.

14. September, 2004 - continuing busy

Yesterday worked out fine. I thought I was going to have too much to do, and I did, but once I got moving on it, I dealt with it all, plus mowed the lawn, did a load of laundry, and found time to go look at some dogs, too.

It’s interesting (to me at least) how both the Minneapolis and St. Paul shelters have their animals on the web, but neither is really up to date. There were around a dozen dogs in St. Paul yesterday, rather than the 33 listed on their website. Things are better in Minneapolis, with fewer dogs listed that have already been adopted, and more importantly, the date the database was updated, as well as the date the dog was received. That added information makes it easier to accept the bits that are out of date.

Today looks fairly busy as well. I realized this morning that I’m out of everything a guy needs for breakfast (including Mountain Dew), so shopping has moved to the top of the list. I’ve still got to put together that contract I was supposed to have ready for a client yesterday. Oops. I’ve got client meetings, and may swing by one of the shelters on the way home, as well. I’m hoping to go out for a few beers with a buddy tomorrow or Thursday evening, so I should really get caught up today. Oh yeah, and I need to vote in the primary. Good thing the weather forecast is for a pretty gloomy day so I’m not tempted to go for a walk.

13. September, 2004 - Monday blah

Another weekend gone. Another Monday leaves me feeling as though I’ve got too much to do. I’ll probably muddle through just fine and be in a good mood by the time the day is done, but I’d rather start the week off in a good mood once in a while.

Friday: caught up on old email; cleaned up some client websites; other administrative gunk; wrote a little for the site here and cleaned up the page template; tried to head out to the ballgame early, but was delayed by bullshit; was an extra in the Saints commercial shoot, interrupting the pre-game eating and drinking; Saints win; then home to bed.

Saturday: trip to mom’s; return home to phone message saying We don’t have anything in common from gal I’ve had one date with (I knew we didn’t have much in common. That was part of the attraction for me. I guess the feeling wasn’t mutual); try to head to Saints game early, but got delayed by passive aggessive bullshit again; Saints win; home to bed.

Spent most of Sunday avoiding reality, either by laying around the house or looking at dogs (more on that later). Wonderfully unproductive day. I wrapped it up by reading most of John Stossel’s Give Me a Break, staying awake until about 2am.

11. September, 2004 - Dan Rather Memos update

Normally I don’t do weekend updates (at least not while the Saints are still playing), but this seemed like something worth pushing out. Oh, and the Saints won last night. KC leads the other division, 2-1.

Happy Patriot Day, too.

10. September, 2004 - playoff games

Tonight’s game three of the playoffs, and the Saints come home with their record tied at 1-1. That’s about what I expected from the games in Fargo, and I’m really hoping they can win tonight. With their past record in Sunday games (they’re 5-9 on Sundays this year), I don’t want to see this playoff series go to five games. Then again, they are at home, where at least they made a reasonable showing, going 5-4 on Sundays at home. Yeah, that’s right. They didn’t win a single sunday game on the road this year. I hadn’t realized that, but I see it now looking back on their record. And if you look at just the day games (which tosses a couple sundays, and adds a few weekdays), the boys are 6-8 by my count. There was also one Sunday day game that was rain-postponed until the following Monday. They lost that, too. In all, I would much rather not see the Saints have to play a Sunday day game this weekend.

That was a half-hour spent researching the baseball nerdiness. Time to move on to something else.

Work continues to frustrate a bit. I think we’re making progress, but on one job, I’m working with ancient code that we’re trying to refactor. That’s not going especially smoothly, especially since we had four people in a meeting yesterday, and three fairly strong (and different) opinions about how to reorganize things. It’ll work out eventually, but the road is not an easy one. But I’ve got plenty to keep me busy there for the next week or so.

On another job, we’re plugging along, but progress is slower than expected. What I figured was an intense afternoon of work has turned into a full week’s effort. But hey, I can at least look back to Monday when we finished up two more websites, which means two more invoices sent out. Woo! I’ve got another client I need to write a contract for, but that should be pretty easy. I started doing that back in April, and I just need to dive into the archives to find the old work. I’m already a packrat by nature, and that’s served me well more than once in running my own business. I only wish it was as easy to keep everything for the paper records I get as it was for the electronic bits. Then again, I do have a scanner… Hmm. Maybe I need to write some scripts to make it easier to turn all the paper records into electronic form so I can keep track of them more easily… Another thing for the to-do list. D’Ohh!

9. September, 2004 - webby stuff

Yesterday was a pretty pleasant day, for part of it. The morning went relatively well, and I had lunch with Steph, where we talked some biz, as well as the normal wide-ranging conversation. Then I stopped by at the Dunn Brothers in my old neighborhood to read for a while before walking past my old place and chatting with my old mailman and landlords. I was in a pretty good mood when I got home.

But there was a call from Mom on my caller-ID. She was feeling lonely and depressed and asked if I could come up to visit. I called her back, and after a half-hour on the phone we agreed that I’d be up sometime this weekend, but wasn’t sure when. Part of it is that I don’t want to promise to come up on Sunday if the Saints playoff series goes to five games (there will be a game on Saturday for sure). Yes, it’s selfish, but that’s part of how I maintain my sanity, too.

After that, my afternoon was pretty non-productive. I keep trying to convince mom that she should go into the senior center in town once in a while so she’s not alone all the time, but she doesn’t like that idea, and I’m stumped. She doesn’t want to be alone, and doesn’t want to visit people, either. It’s frustrating for both of us, and that frustration kept me from concentrating on work. Finally around 5pm I just bagged it and decided to eat dinner and watch a movie to relax. It worked.

Oh well. I imagine that’ll work itself out one way or another eventually. Meanwhile, I’ll keep plugging along. What’s normally my most productive day of the week (now that I don’t have neighborhood meetings followed by a trip to the bar on Tuesday evenings) got pretty well shut down this week though, and I’ll be paying for that today.

8. September, 2004 - getting it good and hard

It’s not too often I have a long rant like I do below (or two or three), but current events have caught my eye again and pissed me off. Who elects these clowns? Oh yeah. We did. Crap.

7. September, 2004 - Virtual Monday?

Back to the regular work-week today. As I mentioned last night, I did some work yesterday so I wouldn’t be too far behind, but today combines some of the Monday administrative stuff (I couldn’t go to the bank or post office yesterday, so I need to do that this morning) with the normal Tuesday load. Ah well, this too shall pass.

As for the weekend, not a ton to say about it. I spent a quiet Friday and Saturday evening at home, Sunday up at Mom’s and then at home, and didn’t really do much socializing or anything fun until last night. I think that was probably a pretty good outcome for the weekend, but I also think I need to find a shooting buddy: someone who occassionally thinks it’s a good idea to head up to the range and punch holes in paper for a couple hours on a weekend afternoon. Any readers interested?

I also spent some time yesterday cleaning up the archives around here. They’re now in a consistent format all the way back to the dawn of Dave’s Picks, which means I can start modifying the code that displays them without having to worry about handling more than one flavor of input. Not a big deal from your point of view probably, but there are some changes I’d like to make that will be a lot easier because of the time I spent on that yesterday.

Finally, I’ve got even more links for today. Maybe it’ll be too much for some folks, but what the heck. I had a whole weekend of surfing to build them up.

6. September, 2004 - weekend wrap-up

It’s Monday night, and time to wrap up the long weekend. Today was actually a work-day for me. Pretty productive, too. I’m glad. It means I won’t feel as though I’m behind all week long this week. I may start doing these in the evening, too. Dunno. We’ll see. But I figured it was time to blast out some links for you. If you’re not seeing this until Monday morning, you’ll maybe get a double-shot to make up for the long weekend. Then again, maybe this will be it.

3. September, 2004 - Friday like a Monday

After two days off from work, it’s time to get back to it. I’ve built up something like 40 emails I need to respond to (one way or another) today, and there’s plenty of work to be done for clients before next Tuesday. There’s also some financial muck to sort out, as one client has been late on payment again, and it’s put me in a bind. Add in another client who backed out on some programming work I had already sub-contracted out (and thus have to pay for), and I’m facing a real cash-crunch. Hell, I would have bounced payroll if the bank hadn’t covered things for me in exchange for some hideous service charges. That’s not a good thing. Not for the business, and not for my attitude. I’m close to just saying to hell with it and closing up shop.

It’s not like my attitude needed a lot of help souring in the first place. I’ve got family headaches going on, and I’m feeling pretty darned abivalent about the fact that the Saints clinched their playoff spot last night. I don’t want the season to end, but I’m also ready to have a little more free time for other activities. Going to games has started feeling like work lately, which is a sure sign I’m ready for fall.

I guess the only solution is to try and muddle through what I can over the weekend. I might end up posting here, since I’ll probably be working during the days. It may not be pleasant or actually solve any problems, but sometimes losing myself in work is at least effective in adjusting my attitude temporarily.

2. September, 2004 - no change

Yesterday’s Saints game — well, they don’t play so well in day games. The magic number remains at 2, and the team is on their way to Winnipeg. Winning one of the four games up there puts ’em in the playoffs. Day games on weekdays usually mean a day where nothing else gets done, and yesterday was no exception. About all I accomplished was pissing off the neighbors who think the alley is a valid parking spot when I leaned on the horn for a while until they moved their truck.

Today’s going to be a different kind of busy, but no more productive for work. I’ve got some personal errands that need to be done. Bleh. Don’t want to talk about it.

Tomorrow, I’ll get to try and do a one-day flurry of activity to get caught up on the week again and not have to do too much work over the holiday weekend. I expect it will be a partial success at best, and I’ll be grinding through some work in order to have it ready for clients on Tuesday.

1. September, 2004 - down to two

That’s the Saints Magic Number after last night. Winnipeg lost in extra innings. It’s possible that the Saints will clinch their playoff spot yet today, but it’ll take some help from the Explorers this evening, and it’ll mean that the Saints will have to play well in a day game today. Neither seems especially likely, but winning a single game in Winnipeg will do it at this point. Playoff games will probably begin on Friday the 10th, and there will be tickets available.

In other news, the allergies continue. I’m hoping this is the worst week of the summer (it is so far), and soon they’ll slack off, but I’m expecting that I’ll have a head full of snot until the snow flies. Also, I should note that Claritin can make you drowsy if you exceed the recommended dosage. That’s probably not good for you.

Last Month
Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:57:32.