March 2005 full listing

31. March, 2005 - day off

I overslept this morning and won't have an update today. Sorry. Seeya tomorrow.

30. March, 2005 - more signs of spring

We’re supposed to get our first thunderstorm of the year later today. Yeah, it’ll bring some cold weather again, but it’s definitely feeling like spring around here. The warm temps the past couple days have just about finished off the pile of snow, and I’m starting to feel like it’s time to play with the lawn. So I’m actually looking forward to a few days of colder weather again. I’ve got too many things I need to get done inside before I start working on the outside.

Tiffany & Giselle
Tiffany & Giselle

And there are more signs. The grackles have returned for the spring, and are now monopolizing the bird-feeders. Except for the pair of cardinals. The male cardinal’s color has brightened up for the spring, too. And there are robins around. But the best sign of spring the past few days has been all the pretty gals who’ve put away their parkas and you can actually tell that they’re the curvier gender again. Warms my cockles, it does.

Speaking of pretty gals, there were a couple in the bar yesterday who needed a picture taken. Biggest lap-dog ever was one possible caption, but I figure I’ll make it easier to google this way.

29. March, 2005 - beautiful weather, outside

That was yesterday. The weather was great, and I ventured out for a walk without a jacket for the first time in 2005. I also did things like get my flat tire fixed (which meant buying two new tires since the other front tire was pretty worn, too), rake up the accumulated sunflower shells from feeding the birds all winter (about 60lbs of empty shells), and clean out the back of my truck so I can move the tailgating supplies in there so I can tackle cleaning the garage. One of these days I’ll be able to get my trike out and start riding that around. Generally a pretty good day.

Inside, things were different. I got some work done, but nowhere near as much as I’d hoped (the time spent outside and at the service station cut into the work), and got a call from my accountant. Seems we somehow grossly miscalculated my taxes for 2004, and rather than being near even, as planned, I owe thousands of dollars. Neither of us has gone through all the numbers to figure out what went wrong back in December when we were estimating, and there’s realy not much to be done about it now but try to figure out where the money’s going to come from. More work will eventually help, but won’t solve my problem for April 15th, since my clients all pay net-30 — even a phenomenal burst of productivity wouldn’t get me any additional money until the end of April. In short: Ugh.

28. March, 2005 - I need to get out more?

The weekend wrap up: Friday, a reasonably productive morning — not great, but pretty good. Then lunch with a friend. Tried to stop at Kramarczuk’s on the way home, but the place was completely jammed with people picking up their Easter Hams, so I went just left. Stopped by Let’s Cook for a pizza cutter while waiting on the bus. Then complete apathy all afternoon.

Saturday, a trip to mom’s, which was capped off by a flat tire on the way home (caused perhaps by a monster pothole), then cleaning up around the house for the evening’s poker game. It was fun, but one of the guys may not be back, as he’s moved out of town, and just recently quit working for the Twin Cities company that would fly him back periodically.

Sunday: sometimes I think I should get out of the house more. I woke up and it was a beautiful day outside. Thought that it would be a good time to break the trike out for the first ride of the season, and then remembered that I have over a dozen boxes of mom’s stuff piled around it in the garage, and I need to deal with those first. That sapped my motivation, and my only trip out was to go buy some breakfast fixins for this morning (and the boxes are still in the way). But maybe sitting at home is better than walking around in public with a cosmic bullseye on my forehead anyhow. Sunday evening I watched Alien Apocalypse. As BC said, think Spartacus with aliens. It’s not a great movie, but then I wasn’t looking for greatness this weekend.

25. March, 2005 - Good Friday

You may have noticed that I still don’t have the movable holidays hooked up in the calendar. I think this is one of those cases where I’ve gotten a “good enough” solution hooked up, so I don’t have any real desire to do all the extra work to finish the last ten percent of the problem. Oh well.

And it being Easter Weekend, there’s Minicon. I’m not planning to attend, but I know folks who are. I won’t be going to CONvergence in July, either. I’m not sure why, but it’s been a lot of years since I’ve had an urge to hang out with the geek crowd in general, rather than just seeing a few individual geeks in a less-structured environment.

Is there a point to this? I don’t think so. It’s Friday, and I’ve had a pretty full week. I’ve got a pretty full day ahead of me today, and lots for tomorrow, too. Sunday? A day of rest, I think. Maybe I'll write up a new Worth Reading entry. But I think this is enough for today. Time to get some breakfast in me, and start plowing through the to-do list for the day. Have a great weekend, and seeya on Monday.

24. March, 2005 - content

The response to replacing the blogroll with a Worth Reading section has mostly been good. Dirk thinks I’m “right on”, Scott likes the idea, jr won’t argue with me, and the biggest challenge I see is trying to keep to a regular schedule of updating it. I think I’ll shoot for weekly updates, which should get me through the sites I read regularly in about a year. Well, except for the ones that I read regularly that aren’t worth reading.

And I’m not sure if it’s a trend or not, but this week while I’ve been shorter on links, I’ve actually written more content for here. I think that’s a good thing, so you may see more of the same for a while. At least until home improvement and baseball season annihilates my free time this summer. And with that, I think I’m going to call this, and a few links, a morning update. Seeya tomorrow. I’m hoping for more links, especially to “fun” things, so use that suggest a pick link if you’ve got something you feel like sharing. Or just shoot me an email.

23. March, 2005 - it’s open

The big news around here is that the deli on 15th and East Hennepin, just two short blocks from my house (I live in a part of town with “short blocks” and “long blocks”) is finally open. I saw not only the glowing neon letters saying “OPEN” yesterday but also actual people sitting in there and eating. Today, I plan to stop in for lunch to see what’s up. That this is one of the more exciting things in my life at the moment is some sort of commentary on my life, or lack thereof.

And for links today, it’s pretty slim pickings. I’m not sure why, but news stories aren’t catching my eye. But I’ve written a lot of stuff this morning, and I’m relatively satisfied with the update. Hope you are, too. If not, hey, there’s always tomorrow.

22. March, 2005 - live blues
At the Viking Bar
At the Viking Bar

A pretty darned good Monday yesterday. Got the work I needed to get done finished relatively early in the afternoon, and then it was off to Town Hall Brewery for happy hour with Jim. Then over to the Viking Bar, where we were joined by my friend Scott, who was in town from California for the weekend, and his dad. We were planning to see Willie Murphy, but Willie’s apparently in Italy doing some shows, so John Beach and Cornbread Harris filled in on the keys. That ended up being just fine, since we got treated to a darned good jam session anyhow, and when I got home about 11, I was too wound up from the show to go to sleep. So I’m a bit tired this morning, but it’s a good tired. I’ve been out to see live music twice in the past week already, and have enjoyed myself a bunch both times. I wonder why I don’t do that more often.

Today, much like yesterday. Work to be done, and hopefully I’ll wrap things up early enough that I can do some non-work things this evening. Probably a quiet night at home, so I can get up and do it again tomorrow. This is the time of year when I usually plan to get extra-productive so I can slack off more during the summer, and I’m making a conscious effort to try to stick to that plan this year.

21. March, 2005 - spring!

Snow on Friday, Auto Body Experience show Friday evening, made it to and from the show with no problems in the snow, except for a car in the O’Gara’s parking lot that snuggled right up to the driver’s side of my truck. Saturday was single-game ticket-sales over at Midway stadium, so we stood around in the snow like a bunch of people not bright enough to come in out of the cold. Sunday, a trip to visit mom through virtually snow-free country, followed by some cleanup around the house and turning down two different opportunities to go out on Sunday evening.

That was the weekend, and it was a pretty good one. The weather’s supposed to be warmer this week, and the little bit of snow that remains from Friday will probably be gone today. Folks farther south got more, and it might take a few days longer, but spring is asserting itself. Today, time to get back to work, especially since I’ve got some friends in town from the left coast, and I’d like to hang out with them either this afternoon or evening, so I need to be productive early. That’s about it for the update. Seeya tomorrow.

18. March, 2005 - waiting for the snow

Yesterday and Wednesday, the weather people on TV were full of dire warnings about how much snow we were going to get, and it was supposed to start sometime yesterday. A few flakes finally started to come out of the sky about 8am this morning, but I’m starting to wonder how much we’re actually going to see.

Beyond that, it was another busy day yesterday. Programming, meeting with lawyer, meeting with client, dinner, and a phone call with prospective client. Today’s agenda isn’t all that different, except for fewer meetings, and an added trip to the bank. But this evening, the Auto Body Experience are playing O’Gara’s, so there’s a reward at the end of the work. Woo!

17. March, 2005 - Amateur night

One of the three nights per year (the others are New Year’s Eve and Halloween) when everybody and his brother seems to think going out and getting boozed up is mandatory.

Yesterday saw more work coming my way. On top of everything else, I’ve got some website updates I need to do for a client. It’s probably just a single afternoon’s worth of work. A nice little diversion some day when I’m tired of programming. I think that’s one of the good things that’s come out of my quest for work lately. It looks like I might have a decent mix of things to work on, which is what makes me happiest. It’s nice to be able to concentrate on one job sometimes, but when you get stuck or bored with it, it’s even nicer to have something different to do for a bit so you can be productive even when you’re stuck.

16. March, 2005 - bizzy backson

Just a quick update today. A few links for you, and little beyond that. A bigger update would mean either less sleep or less work, and neither of those are good options at this point.

15. March, 2005 - getting in gear

This was the week I figured things would mostly get back to normal around here, and they have. I woke up yesterday and waded through a lot of stuff that I should have done on Sunday when I was out having a pleasant drive instead, then went to the bank and out to lunch. The afternoon was devoted to paying work, and I made a lot of progress, which felt good.

On the work front, I’m now facing what I had feared last week. I’m busy with one project that I had figured would be done by now but which keeps getting extended. All the hustling I’ve done since the first of the year trying to find new work is paying off, too. I’ve got two serious queries for long-term projects in front of me, plus a project of my own that I want to finish before the end of the month. And then there’s another project I want to get done in April before the Saints start playing baseball for 2005. I’m almost wondering if I should hire some help.

14. March, 2005 - on the road

Well, not a real road-trip, but yesterday was another trip up to visit mom. And because life has been somewhat stressful, I took the long way home. As I was driving along, I saw a sign for “Star-Tech Const. Inc.” and read it as “static const int”. I’m pretty sure that was a sign that getting away from the computer for a while had been a good idea.

It was a pleasant drive. I drove through rural Wisconsin, and along the St. Croix Valley between Taylor’s Falls and Stillwater before getting on the major highways and heading home. It was a fairly relaxing drive for most of the way. Yes, I was being a Sunday Driver.

So today, the links are mostly about travelling around a bit. Seemed like the right thing to do.

11. March, 2005 - Web things round-up

I noticed this morning that not only was there nothing in the news I felt like ranting about, but also that I’ve built up a fairly large collection of links for various web tools and such that I haven’t talked about yet. So today you get a dump of all the webby things I’ve been meaning to look at for a while, but haven’t gotten around to linking to until now.

Note that I don’t sound especially excited about any of these tools. That’s not necessarily because they’re not good, but more because I haven’t had a need to use any of them just yet. When I do, I’m hoping that this collection of links will help me find what I’m looking for.

10. March, 2005 - in between

Woke up this morning, and when I looked outside I saw that we’d gotten some of the predicted snow for the day. And as the sky lightens, I can see that big, fat, fluffy flakes are still drifting down. The temperature is such that they collapse and turn to slush when they hit the ground though, so this snowfall probably won’t stick for long.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. It’s too early in the year for it to really be spring and for things to start greening up. I don’t especially want more snow, but it makes the outside world look a heck of a lot prettier than the gray and brown we have until everything greens up. So weather-wise, we Minnesotans are stuck in an in-between place.

It’s that way with baseball, too. Spring training is going on, and I’ve been thinking about baseball for a few weeks, but it’s still almost two months before the Saints start to play. Heck, it’s still at least a month before we’ll be able to get an idea of what the roster will look like for this year.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m somewhat in between jobs, as well. I’m wrapping up some projects and have bits and pieces coming in, but haven’t found a job that’s going to carry the company through the summer yet. Yes, there are some prospects, but as time passes and I don’t hear back on them, I find myself wondering if anything is going to materialize.

Everything at my life right now seems to be in this awkward state of “in-between” and I’m tired of it. I know there are many who would say this is a time of great opportunity for me or some other similarly gung-ho philosophy, but at this point, I’d rather just find a comfortable rut to settle into for a while.

9. March, 2005 - oops

I guess I’m feeling healthier. I stayed up late programming the little “Events Today” thing at the top of the page. If you’ve got a favorite holiday or historical event you think I should add to the database, send it in. I still need to work out the “movable holiday” code, but hey, I’ve got a week and a half before I need to think about Palm Sunday. Anyway, the update will be late today. Sorry.

Okay. It’s update time, and I’ve got some stuff. Not as much as I’d like, but that’s the way mornings go when I get a late start. But I had fun programming last night, so I think it was worth it.

8. March, 2005 - not so fast, bucko

I thought I was nearly healthy again yesterday. I felt pretty good first thing in the morning, and got some work (both administrative and paying) done. Then lunch hit, and I crashed. My sore-throat, which is usually the last step on the way to feeling good again, came back with a vengeance, and I was flat out of energy. A nap helped, in that I remembered I was supposed to be getting a completed proposal out before the day was done, and managed to send an email saying Sorry. Sick. Maybe tomorrow. before calling it a day, but I was running at half-speed at best. That’s up from the weekend, but my immune system apparently needs some more time before declaring the foreign invaders vanquished. It’s a quagmire, I tell ya.

That article on Fake IDs reminded me of something I often forget. I live near a large University for a number of reasons, but one that I often end up taking for granted is that there are a lot of smart people around here.

When I stop to think about it, I remember that even a large University like the U of M has admissions standards, and filters out some percentage of people. While not everyone attending the U is a rocket scientist, I like to think the bell curve is a little higher in my neighborhood, even among the folks who are more “blue collar”.

Which leads me to an amusing story. There’s a new waitress at a bar I frequent. She had zero experience in any sort of food-service or customer-service industry before starting there. She seems reasonably smart, but everything about the job is new to her. Even more debilitating than her ignorance (which is curable), is her attitude that she’s smarter than everyone else (which means maybe it’s not curable). She’s forgotten what neighborhood she’s in. One night she was giving a friend of mine a hard time about something or other. He’s a bright guy who works with computers, but he doesn’t necessarily dress or act the part when hanging out at the local watering hole. When he asked her what she thought he did for a living, she figured he was a plumber, and she obviously didn’t think sticking pipes together was a “noble” profession. When she found out he was a “professional”, she did some backpedalling, but he’s not the only customer she’s alienated, and her tips have been reflecting that.

I generally try to treat people with respect, at least until they’ve proven they don’t deserve it. You never know, you might just be dealing with someone smarter than you expect. And that leads me to one of the reasons I oppose most of the top-down solutions to perceived problems like Real I.D. That kind of solution doesn’t respect either the citizens, who are going to have to live with it, or the terrorists, who might just have a smart cookie or two capable of making a good fake. In fact, I find myself wondering whether the whole law of unintended consequences is due to such a lack of respect. That article points out the five sources of unintended consequences are: ignorance, error, ignoring unintended effects, basic values, and self-defeating predictions. I’d say that at least three of those stem from a lack of respect for the governed. We can’t stiff our legislators on their tips (they’ve seen to that), but I hope that we can at least throw a few of the more arrogant out on their, umm, ears.

7. March, 2005 - warm & sickly, cold & hale

A beautiful, warm (62 outside yesterday!) weekend. The snow is almost entirely gone, except for the pile from shovelling the driveway and the now-frozen lake dammed up behind it. But rather than getting out to enjoy the weather, I spent the weekend with some upper-respiratory crud that seems to be going around now, and slept a ton. I’m not positive, but I believe my duty-cycle was around forty-percent awake for the weekend. Today, and the rest of the week, it will be much colder outside, just as I’m starting to think I might be getting better sometime soon. Nice timing, eh?

It’s probably just as well, though. I’ve got a lot of work to do. Some of it paying work, and some of it work to get new work. Not surprisingly, cold weather keeps me indoors more, and I really need to stay in and get work lined up for the spring before the weather turns nice enough that I’m spending hours outside puttering in the yard or just going for long walks.

4. March, 2005 - local news

Friday, at last. I’ve spent the entire week feeling like I’m swimming upstream in a river of mucilage. I don’t have a great deal of hope that next week is going to be especially better, but maybe the week after that…

On the other hand, I discovered that Gene, who formerly ran The Hunter’s Den in Hopkins now has The Gun Shop out in St. Boni. I kinda miss gabbing about guns with him, and am glad I stopped by there the other day.

So as is typical around here, it was a week with high and low points. I’ve got a couple pretty firm leads for some ongoing work, but I’m going to have to write up proposals for them. I think I’ve been struggling with a cold all week, and just recognized the symptoms for what they were last night, after spending the week thinking I was stuffed up because of moving mom’s furniture into my house. Now that I know what’s got me feeling cruddy, I think I’ll have the energy to have a pretty productive day today. Of course there is the possibility that something will go awry this morning running me off the rails, but I’m going to at least try to get a good start, after the first decent night’s sleep all week. That’s something, right?

3. March, 2005 - day off

I took yesterday off from pretty much everything. I had plans for the day, but they fell apart when the regular preventative maintenance on my truck turned out to involve some repair work, too. Everything worked out, but it added a couple-hundred to the bill that I couldn’t really afford right now anyhow. Sigh.

Today, I’m trying to get back to a normal life involving a mix of work for existing clients, meeting with some potential new clients, and trying to get the finances sorted out a bit so I can get through the rest of the month without too many headaches.

1. March, 2005 - doing things twice

One thing that I find fairly frustrating is having to do a task twice. It’s been happening a lot lately, since I’ve been distracted by stuff like relocating mom. It means that I’ve been missing small details, that force me to go back and do a job a second time, which makes me feel more pressed for time, which leads to more dropped details. Vicious cycle.

The most recent example is the trailer I used over the weekend. When I dropped it off yesterday, I forgot to remove the locks I’d put on it, so today I need to drive sixty miles to go get the locks. But when I said I’d do that, I’d forgotten one small detail — I took my truck into the shop for its (overdue) fifty-thousand-mile service yesterday afternoon, and it might not be done until noon today, which won’t leave time to get out and back before the landscaping people are going to show up to put together an estimate for the sidewalk I’d like to get put in this summer.

Normally I’m pretty good at keeping a handful of complex tasks organized, but during these past few months, it hasn’t been working as well. I’m not sure if it’s just that I’ve had enough things added that I’m over the limit on what I can keep straight or whether I’ve just become more addle-pated, but I suspect it’s a little of each.

I’m pretty sure the solution is as simple as finding some down-time when I can just relax and not worry about day-to-day problems. A vacation sounds like a great plan. The only problem is trying to figure out when and where and all those details and I just don’t think I can handle trying to plan a vacation when I’m feeling scattered like this. Did I mention something about a vicious cycle?

Last Month
Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:58:39.