January 2005 full listing

31. January, 2005 - party aftermath

I’m pretty sure it was a good party. Only one person stomped out mad, and most people seemed to have fun. There’s no lasting damage, and I’ll finish the cleanup this morning. Mostly that involves hauling bags of trash and recycling outside. I didn’t actually make it out of the house yesterday, since I spent most of the day sleeping after being up Way Too Late, and then managed to sleep (somewhat fitfully) from ten last night until seven this morning.

I think that’s about the only thing I’d change about the party. I had told people in the invites that it went 6pm to midnight, and the first folks arrived about seven. Not too bad. But the last folks out the door were well after midnight (four am, maybe?), and I still wanted to do some cleanup before going to sleep. Oh well.

28. January, 2005 - not late

Don’t have the luxury of sleeping late today. Stuff to do in the morning. So you at least get some typing today. And some links.

Life lately? Well, not much to say. I’m starting to worry about work, since all the possibilities I see are farther in the future than I need. I’m starting to think I might just have to go out and find a “real job”, but I have no idea what it would be. Which leads to days like yesterday, when I spent the day moping around the house, rather than doing anything to help the situation. Ugh.

27. January, 2005 - late

Woke up late. Nothing to say yet. Maybe later?

26. January, 2005 - yep, just like that

Ups and downs continue, as does the search for work. But it was a nice day yesterday, and that makes up for an awful lot of downs. Hit 45 here according to my thermometer, and I took the opportunity to chip away at the last of the snow and ice on my sidewalks, hoping to keep from having a skating rink as the temp gets back to more normal levels today. I avoided making my back any worse in the process, too. Yay!

Today, beyond a bit of work to be done, and the continued search for new work, it’s time to head to Cub to buy grub for the party on Saturday. I’m planning to make up some fridge-pickles for snacks for the party (though I had to very carefully craft my query to get google to find Todd’s Über-Garlic Pickle recipe), and they need two or three days of sitting in the brine to be ready, so it’s time to get them started. I’ve also got lists of party-prep to do both tomorrow and Friday, and a ham to get started on Saturday morning for snacking later that evening, so today’s a good day to take the time to shop. If I’m smart, I’ll even remember to buy the cleaning supplies I’ll need once it’s all done.

There are also a couple projects I’d like to do. Utility programming for things that I would find useful, and this seems like a darned good time to get them done. I could maybe even make some shareware money on them from the three other people in the world who need these tools. I was hoping to slap one together yesterday, but discovered that while I probably could have done so using PowerPlant, I’m trying to learn Cocoa, and I just don’t know my way around the classes well enough yet. And when I asked a mailing list if there was a handy cross-reference so I could find things more quickly, the best suggestion I got was that I should put one together, and maybe sell it as a book. Very little in my life is quite as easy as I think it should be.

25. January, 2005 - so that’s how it’s going to be

I had high hopes for this week. I was determined to secure some new work, and while waiting on the email exchanges, I’d spend time upgrading software on the new server I’d dropped off a while back. It’s not critical, but the longer I put it off, the more work it’s going to be, and I want to get that done.

I’m doing well with finding new work. I’ve got a couple short-term leads, and a possible longer-term one. Can’t talk about it, natch, but things are looking up on the work front, at least a little.

On the server front, I discovered that I couldn’t ssh in to the new server. So I make a call to the ISP, asking them to reboot it. Hmm. That doesn’t work, either. I made the trip in, and discovered that the day after I’d dropped it off, it had panicked and Bill had rebooted it. As far as we can tell, it never came up again. We tried some basic diagnostics, and the results were pretty depressing. I wasn’t sure when I’d bought the box, but I was pretty sure it was more than a year ago, meaning the warranty was done. Damn.

So I returned home. Dug though the books, and found that I paid for the server in April 2004. It’s less than a year old! Back to the ISP, pick up the server, and off to General Nanosystems, where I bought it.

The tech at General Nano ran through the same diagnostics we did, plus the things we’d planned to try next. Eventually the verdict: the motherboard is fried. Nope, don’t have any in stock. It’ll be four days, probably. Oh well, so I won’t get that done this week, and probably when the box is back, I’ll be too busy to get to it anytime soon. I definitely won’t have time this weekend, what with the party and all.

At least it was nice of life to provide me with a clue on Monday how the week was going to go. I won’t have to slog through each day wondering whether it’ll be a good day or not. From here it looks like a pretty balanced week. For every success, there will be something going wrong to set me back. But on the other side, for everything that goes wrong, it looks like there’ll be something good to keep me from getting too down.

24. January, 2005 - Happy Birthday, Macintosh

Not really much to ramble about today. Yesterday went as planned, with lots of time spent nearly horizontal with a belly full of ibuprofen. My back feels better this morning, but I’m going to wait until at least tomorrow afternoon before going to go attack the wall of snow across the end of my sidewalk from the snowplows. And then I might just pile it on top of the car whose owner seems to think that their correct parking spot is with blocking my sidewalk, in spite of there being no other cars on the entire street, and not parking so the passenger door is even lined up so a passenger could use my sidewalk.

23. January, 2005 - older, not smarter

Friday was kinda fun. Lots of snow, and I didn’t need to go anywhere. I cooked a pork-roast in my crock-pot during the day, and put up the window film in the bedroom while watching the snow come down. Invited Jim over for dinner, since it seemed a shame to eat a four-pound roast all by myself, and we had a few beers to wash down the (overcooked - I’m still learning the details of crock-pot cooking) pig. Then we shovelled the area in front of my garage before heading to the Sportsman (so it wouldn’t get packed down by traffic and I wouldn’t have to do as much in the morning). A fun, though unremarkable, evening, and I stayed up later than I should have.

D'Ohh!Saturday. The snow is done falling, it’s a beautiful blue morning, with bright sunshine shining down from the sky and lasering off the pristine snow into my pounding head. There was a fair amount of snow to be shovelled, even with the help of the neighbor who had come by with his snowthrower to get some of it out of the way. Somewhere along the way, I heaved a load of snow incorrectly, probably because I was using the lazy-man’s approach (if you carry twice as big a load, you only have to make half as many trips) and wrenched my back. It was one of those moments where I not only realized that I’m getting older, but that I’m not getting smarter at the same rate as I’m getting older. D’Ohh!

Hey-Oh!The rest of Saturday was spent sleeping and laying on the couch watching TV, and wishing I had more milk on hand to wash down the ibuprofen. The positive development is that Pete, who has been thinking of splitting my Saints season tickets with me this year, has decided to go through with it. We haven’t worked out the details yet, but I’m sure it will bring some changes in my attendance at games. Hell, maybe this will be the year that I finally work out some sort of deal with the five or six couples who sit to my right to use some of the tickets they don’t, too.

Today looks like another day spent laying about on a hot-pack and eating ibuprofen. My back still isn’t especially happy, and I think it’s best to try and get recovered before the work-week kicks in tomorrow and I have to spend most of the day upright in front of the computer. Luckily, I have a bunch of DVDs I’ve been meaning to watch, and should only have to leave the house to go buy a few groceries. And hey, I did get all the shovelling done yesterday, so I can feel good about that, right?

21. January, 2005 - finally friday

This has felt like an awfully long week. There hasn’t been any single thing making the week drag, but rather a number of different things. About the only good note is that I finally got my sleep schedule back to normal, just in time to screw it up with the weekend. Then again, there’s snow forecast for today and tomorrow, so maybe I’ll be staying home more instead of going out and staying up late.

I forgot to mention the other happening on Wednesday. Went out for dinner at Sawatdee with a group of folks. A good time was had, and I realized that I haven’t had spicy asian food for a while.

Yesterday didn’t really have much of note at all. I managed to get to Target to pick up some new cookware (I decided I need a sheet-pan and a few smaller things), and shovelled snow off the sidewalk again, and dealt with some clients, but for the most part, it felt like a lost day.

20. January, 2005 - linkless?

Well, not quite, but I’ve been light on the links lately. It’s not that I’ve been spending any less time looking around, but my searches don’t seem to have been as productive lately. Or maybe I just haven’t been in the mood to link to the sort of things I’m finding. I’m not sure how to solve the problem, either. Maybe y’all could contribute something to help out?

Yesterday I dealt with mom stuff in the morning. No trip was required, but the emotional drain was still there. I also got a website mostly ready for a client. Lunch, some shovelling, and then a brief nap. The client called, saying the last minute changes were hunky-dory, and we pulled the trigger. The redesigned Wales House, a local (Minneapolis) guest house website is now live.

Then there were things for other clients. Mostly questions that needed answering. That continued into this morning, when I discovered that yet another client had some problems with software we delievered, and had sent me an email complaining about it last week. But I never got the email, because he’d been liberal in the use of colors in the email, which meant that the spam-filters had flagged it as spam. Ugh. There needs to be a better solution. And that means that I’ll probably spend today wading through the archives of spam that’s been caught since sometime last fall, checking to see if there’s anything else in there I need to deal with, instead of working on getting my new server with the improved spam-filtering software up and running. Productive? Sure doesn’t feel like it.

19. January, 2005 - grinding along

This has not been an especially good week. I haven’t been feeling great, and my attempt to take a walk yesterday was clobbered by the much colder than expected wind. The temps were fine, but the wind was cold enough that I ended up riding the bus for the half-mile or so I’d been planning to walk.

I’ve also been sleeping wrong. I haven’t been able to fall asleep until about 1am, and I’m still waking up around six. Since that isn’t enough sleep, I end up snoozing on the couch in the afternoon or evening to try and catch up, which further screws up my schedule. I’d say I need a vacation, but it feels more like I need a new job, which kinda sucks when you’re working for yourself…

18. January, 2005 - stupid holiday

Okay. It’s not so much that the holiday yesterday was stupid as that I was. Early in the morning, I was figuring, Okay, I’ll wait for it to warm up a bit, and then walk to the bank to deposit some checks, then to the post office to buy stamps and mail off the bills and invoices and I’ll get some sunshine along the way. I’m sure you see the problem with my planning already, but if you don’t, yesterday was a holiday, and banks and post offices were closed. Well, it took me until about 10am to figure it out, about which time I also realized that it was too cold to take a long walk around, being still below zero at noon. So I drove to the KFC up in Roseville, got the buffet and pigged out. Then a stop at the store so I’d have breakfast this morning, and home for a quick nap that turned into an all-afternoon monster, which screwed up my evening and left me unable to get to sleep until the wee hours. Ugh.

I guess the way to look at this is to figure today’s a virtual monday, and I got a head-start on the week’s work yesterday.

Ugh. Developing crisis. Mom’s power is out and things are getting cold. Today’s plans may be changing… Update 10am - the power's back on and things seem to be okay. Happened before I got out the door, so I guess that worked out okay.

17. January, 2005 - no game today
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On Friday, on the way home from mom’s, I swung by Midway Stadium. Someone had called, saying that there were a few free T-shirts there for me for having renewed my tickets early this year (go me!). There was a fun sign out front, too. Anyway, I got to talk to a few folks while I was there, and it was good to see the front-office staff in the time of the year when my thoughts aren’t really on baseball.

Saturday, well, I spent the day posting, napping, and then working on the invitations to the party here. They’ve gone out, and hopefully I didn’t forget too many people.

Then it was out to Scott & Kat’s for their housewarming party. Turns out I only knew one person other than the hosts when I arrived, but later in the evening a few more folks I knew showed up. I ended up having fun, but wasn’t in full-on socializing mode. On the way home I stopped off at the Sporty for another beer, and was content to hang out alone and chat up the bartenders a bit.

When I got home, it was time to prepare for Sunday. Bill, Ryan and I had decided to go shooting out in Burnsville, and I figured that it would be better to find everything before I went to bed. As it turned out, it took me quite a while. One of these days I gotta get myself organizized.

Some amount of sleep later, it was time to wake up. Then to Bill’s, a bite for lunch, and to the range. It was a busy Sunday out there, but we still spent nearly two hours making holes in paper. I didn’t shoot especially well, which I guess means I need to get out and practice more often. Darn! I was pleasantly tired afterwards and returned home for a nap and a quiet evening. It was a good tired, and ended the weekend on a pretty good note.

This morning I find myself wishing today was a holiday for me, too. It isn’t, and I need to get back to work, especially since the trips to mom’s on Monday and Friday last week cut into my hours. There’s plenty to be done, but it all falls in the category of work I’m not very excited about. For that matter, I’m not very excited about much anything at the moment. Maybe it’s just a seasonal thing. It’s supposed to cloud up later today, but maybe a walk in the morning sunshine will be the cure. I think I’ll be giving it a try.

15. January, 2005 - cold Saturday

I’m not doing an especially good job of taking time off on the weekends around here. So far, I’ve taken only one of the three weekends this year off from writing.

I guess my excuse this weekend is that I had some writing I needed to do. I also need to finish putting together the invitations for my party two weeks from now and send them out. I’m planning to email them today, so if you don’t get an email inviting you to the party by Monday, and think you should have been invited, drop me a note. It’s almost certainly some sort of mistake on my part.

14. January, 2005 - cold

Pretty chilly out there. And windy. Brr.

Pretty good day yesterday. I didn’t get as much programming work done as I’d hoped, but I finished everything else on my list for the day, which felt good, since some of those things have been on the to-do list for months. Capped it off by heading to the Sportsman for a steak and some beers with Bill. Good times.

13. January, 2005 - cold coming

It was pretty nice out when I woke up this morning. 20F (which isn’t bad for mid-January in Minnesota) and clear, if windy. At least it looked nice through the window. But the temperature is supposed to drop all day (it’s down to 12F as I write this about sunrise), and while the wind will let up some over the weekend, the temperature doesn’t bounce back until next week. It looks like the kind of weekend I’d prefer to spend hibernating, but that’s not going to be an option.

Yesterday was a pretty full day. I started working before posting for the day (getting a compile or two running so I could move into high-gear after breakfast), and didn’t finish up until it was time for supper. It was like having a full-time job or something.

Today looks similarly full. I’ve got two websites to update for clients, a phone call to make for another client, more Mac programming to be done, and that form to fill out for mom that I was going to get to earlier in the week. I also need to drop the new server off over at my ISP so I can get started on configuring it. That’s something I’ve been meaning to do for almost a year now. I also ought to finish writing the social-security rant I’ve been working on all week, but I suspect that will slip yet another day.

12. January, 2005 - normal?

Things seem to be back to normal around here. I’m waking up at ludicrously early hours in the morning, looking outside to see a little bit of snow that needs shovelling, and grinding out a decent set of links (at least I think they’re decent) every day. Work starts moving again today, too. After a slight hitch in the plans yesterday that ended up killing most of the day for work, I’m back to cursing CodeWarrior for its habit of just locking up periodically.

So today is going to be spent programming, mostly. There’ll also be some shovelling of snow after the sleet has fallen this afternoon (I’m hoping last night’s snow will keep the sleet from sticking to the sidewalk), and general preparations to hunker down through the next few days of pretty darned cold weather. We’re going to be fresh out of fahrenheits all the way through the weekend, it appears. Maybe there’s some beer, but it’ll have to be carefully planned so as to avoid frostbite. Nothing that can’t be dealt with, but I’m pretty sure that forgetting to bring along the hat would be a Bad Thing.

11. January, 2005 - back to “normal”

Well, things are back to normal, sort of. Mom’s well is working again, and I got a tutorial on not only how to fix the problem (which I could do myself if I had the tools), but also on how to prevent it from happening again in the future. Sometime in the past twenty years, I’d forgotten that the pressure tank on a well needs to be repressurized with air periodically. The well-guys say twice a year, but I’m pretty sure just doing it in the fall would suffice for freeze-prevention. Argh. A half-hour of futzing around with an air-compressor would have saved a couple hundred dollars worth of service call.

On the way home, I stopped off to have a late lunch with Pete. He’s got a spiffy new house, and is also in the thick of home improvement. Then it was home to try and rest enough that I’d feel okay today. That including watching Man of La Mancha. It’s a musical, and the critics hated it, but I was impressed by Peter O’Toole, and found myself liking the movie. It worries me a little though, since when I was done watching it, I found myself thinking how attractive insanity is, and wishing I’d find a Dulcinea, even if she is only an Aldonza.

In any case, the time spent resting seems to have helped. I’ve still got some sniffles going, but I feel ready to at least tackle all the administrivia I should have gotten to yesterday, and possibly some paying work too. I hear it’s easier to run a business when there’s money coming in.

10. January, 2005 - lost weekend?

Friday, get a call from mom when I get back from getting my hair cut. Her septic tank isn’t draining right and things are backing up. Then another call. The pressure-switch on the well is frozen up too, so there’s no water. Ugh. So much for going to a friend’s place for a Friday evening gathering. I’m going to need to sleep, and Friday evening seems like the best chance I’m going to have for a while. But at least I remembered to unplug the water-meter from the phone line, so the cheeping won’t wake me up every hour.

Saturday. Drive up to mom’s. Talk to neighbor who’s helping with the well. The problem is that part of the line that leads from the pressure-tank to the pressure-switch that controls the pump (which should be air-filled) is full of water, and has frozen. But the frozen bit is below ground, and he’s having no luck heating it with a torch to get things working again. As for the septic tank, the drain-field sucks (to use the technical term) and freezes up every winter, especially when there’s no snow-cover to serve as insulation from the cold. This converts the tank into a holding-tank, and it needs to be pumped out. After making a handful of calls, I find a guy (who’s no Winston Rothschild III, but he’ll work on a Saturday, so I don’t care) who’ll come out and pump out the tank. I also run to town to pick up some bottled water and a prescription for mom.

I get back to mom's a few minutes before the big smelly truck arrives, and then a bit later, the septic tank has been pumped out. It will need “regular service” every month or two until the drain-field thaws enough that mom can limp along for a while longer. We jiggered the pump for the well so it’s running, and all we have to do is cycle it manually with the breaker out in the barn so we don’t burn out the pump when not running water.

Then it’s home for an evening of cards with some friends. I would have cancelled if I had thought I’d be able to reach everyone in time, but am glad I didn’t. It was nice relaxation, but made for an awfully long day, as I ended up being awake for nearly 24 hours.

Sunday, sleep late, out for breakfast and shopping, then home to chip the remaining ice from the sidewalks, since it’s warm enough that I have a chance for success. Succeed! Try to nap later in the afternoon, and when I finally fall asleep (in the middle of the third Thin Man movie, (yes, I watched the first two earlier in the afternoon), I’m woken by a call from a friend. That’s just as well—it was time to eat supper anyhow. Some more lounging about on the couch, accompanied by much sneezing and a head full of snot.

And that gets us to today. I see another trip up to mom’s to get the well dealt with, since we couldn’t find anyone to work on that over the weekend. Then home to try and keep the business afloat and fill out some forms for mom. Then I’ll probably collapse into sickness when the 12-hour sudafed wears off. If you don’t see me for a few days, it’s most likely because I’m busy being sick and exhausted.

7. January, 2005 - some days I’d rather be Amish

Usually the vast slew of electrons flying higgeldy-piggeldy through my house are good and useful servants, but there are days when technology and I don’t get along so well. Today was one of those mornings when my tools and I weren’t getting along.

It started at about oh-dark-thirty. Six-thirty, actually, but I wasn’t ready to wake up yet. There was some electronic beeping, somewhere between a phone cheeping and the smoke detector telling me it’s out of batteries. In any case, it woke me up. About an hour later, I was finally awake enough to figure it out when it happened again. Turns out either the TiVo or the water meter was trying to dial out, but had botched the phone number and gotten some recording at Wells-Fargo. Not liking the answer it was getting, it tried to hang up the line and dial again, but the recording was persistent enough that there wasn’t a dialtone yet when the retry happened. And then the (pulse) dialing made all the extensions in the house cheeple.

Maybe this explains the mornings when I’ve woken up at 4am wondering why I’m awake.

6. January, 2005 - Mmm, breakfast

Not as productive as I would have liked yesterday, but what the heck. I made it through another day, and some days that’s all you can hope for.

I sometimes forget how much I like good breakfasts. But then I’m reminded by something like yesterday’s breakfast, when I had a hefty omelette made with three eggs, nearly ¼ pound of Krakowska, and a couple slices of American cheese. I’m also pretty happy that I stopped at Karmarczuk’s on my way home on Tuesday afternoon so I could have a great breakfast Wednesday morning. In fact, if I were a condemned man, having to choose my last meal, I’m pretty sure it would be breakfast.

5. January, 2005 - late start again

Got a late start this morning. Something about having been up until 1:30 after getting home from the bar and deciding I needed to start working on the invitations for the party I’ll be hosting here on the 29th.

Of course, getting home from the bar meant I had to get to the bar in the first place. Scott called just after I’d finished dinner and started the dishes and said he and Kat would like to meet up at the Sportsman. I couldn’t refuse, and ended up staying longer than I intended. Oops.

After getting home, I also remembered that today is trash-day, and spent a few minutes sorting a box of “old stuff” I had pulled out of mom’s freezer a couple months back and had just tossed in my freezer. There were a few things that still seem to be good, but there were also some things that had to go, and now they have.

Today, more work. It’s almost like I’m a productive member of society or something. Frankly, it scares me.

4. January, 2005 - slow news days?

So far this year, I’ve been having trouble coming up with links in the morning. I’m not sure whether that’s just because I’m being more selective about reading the news or if I’m just tired of it all. I definitely don’t walk to talk about the mess in south Asia. I don’t have anything new to say about it, and at this point, it’s no longer news. In any case, I’ve had to dig a little more to come up with something to ramble about.

I managed to slog through most of the year-end work yesterday morning. The only big item remaining is putting together the corporate tax information for my accountant so he can have that done by the time I get all the bits I need for my personal taxes. Plus I wrote up the materials I’m going to need for a presentation later this morning. None of it felt like real work, but it all had to be done, and I managed to finish everything without too much procrastinating.

But it’s only a couple days into the new year and I’m starting to see the fallout of having kept up a busy social calendar in December. I’ve already got something planned every weekend in January, plus a handful of other days through the month. That’s a good thing in the dark, cold months in a Minnesota winter, I guess, but I find myself wondering if I’m going to feel it cutting into the working hours during a time when I normally try to huddle in my cave and grind out the billable hours. In any case, it’ll give me something to ramble about here. Trying to overcome my natural inclination to be a hermit isn’t always easy.

3. January, 2005 - back to it

The holiday season is over today. I not only managed to survive, but had a fair amount of fun during it, and succeeded in meeting some new folks, as well as renewing ties with others I’ve known for years.

Today it’s time to get back to work. I not only have to catch up with the normal month-end stuff, but also year-end things, plus a bunch of client work that I probably should have been working on last week and wasn’t. I think the next few days will feel extra-busy, and will hopefully manage to do some creative slacking to ease that feeling.

Yesterday, I tried to clear the inch of frozen sleet and snow on the sidewalks. I succeeded on the sidewalk in front of the house, plus the area in front of the garage, which are both mostly clear, and if there’s any sunshine at all today, they should clear up nicely. But the sidewalk on the north side of the house is still covered in snow and ice, and likely to remain so. That’s the section I most wanted to replace over the summer because it’s wildly uneven, and the current coating of ice and snow levels things out and still provides a reasonable amount of traction. Perhaps I’ll be able to just shovel down to that level to clear any future snowfalls. Mark’s getting his first experience with cleaning sidewalks, too.

2. January, 2005 - quick links
1. January, 2005 - Happy New Year

That was fun. I spent last night at a “fancy dress” New Year’s Eve party hosted by a couple friends. Knew maybe a third of the people there, and enjoyed meeting the rest. I actually managed to tie my tie without consulting the cheat-sheet for the first time in something like twenty years, successfully wrapping it around the shirt that the sales-guy kept insisting was “pastel purple” even though I told him he could say “lavender” without offending me. And I’m pretty sure I just confessed to committing adulthood more than once there.

Heard at the party: You can’t blame kids for believing in Santa Claus. You guys believed in John Kerry, and he doesn’t exist wasn’t real, either.

And I think that’s going to be it for the day. It’s not that I have a hangover, so much as I’m just plain tired. Two nights in a row of being awake after 3am, followed by waking up before 9am makes for a tired Dave, even with a nap or two thrown in there. And by Monday, I need to be back into the regular work-week mode, so today seems like an awfully good day to spend correcting my sleep schedule.

Last Month
Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:58:20.