April 2005 Full Listing

29. April, 2005 - fun and games

Not much to ramble on about today. Just some linkage.

28. April, 2005 - room temp fusion?

Is no news good news on the personal front? Well, yes and no. Things have been quiet. That’s partly due to the cold and rainy weather (and hail yesterday afternoon) that have kept me from doing much that’s exciting. The biggest task on my to-do list at this point is finishing up the rewrite of the résumé. While I continue to hope that I’ll find a new contract to keep me busy within my own company, I think I need to have a backup plan ready in case I can’t make that work, and getting a full-time job working for someone else is a definite plan B at this point. I don’t want to just get a GOOD job, but I can see that becoming a necessity if I dawdle.

I think the real problem is that I’ve sold the Mac-programming side of my business well in a bad economy. The worse things were for people who were looking for full-time work, the better they were for me. I portrayed myself as someone who could come in, fix some problems, and move on without being a long-term burden for my clients. That’s a great strategy in tough times, but doesn’t fit as well when companies are looking to invest in long-term goals as the economy improves.

And that’s where I’m running into trouble this week. The process of “updating my résumé” hasn’t just meant adding the past couple years of experience to the list, but shifting the focus to emphasizing the long-term benefits I can bring to prospective clients. The core message is still “I’m a smart guy, who can solve your problems”, but my presentation of that message needs to change, and that’s taking a lot more skull-work than I initially thought it would.

27. April, 2005 - baseball stadium tax

I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today until I started reading the news. There’s talk about the new stadium for the Twins, plus there was an article in Reason magazine that I just finished reading that covered the issue. It all added up to me ranting about ballparks for a while.

26. April, 2005 - April showers

Well, it hasn’t been raining all the time, but all day yesterday was gray and gloomy, with just enough rain that things never dried out. That turned out to be a good thing, since I stayed inside and got a fair amount of work done. In fact, the only thing on the agenda that didn’t get done was updating my resume, which I figure I need to do pretty soon. Today’s supposed to be about the same, so I’m hoping I can be similarly productive.

I also realized yesterday that there are less than two weeks left before the Saints pre-season starts. I’m excited about that.

25. April, 2005 - more work

Another weekend. Neither especially good nor bad, but some of each. On Friday I cooked up the salt encrusted chicken recipe from Jamie Oliver. It came out pretty well, but I don’t think I’ll do it again. Eight bucks for the bird, but ten for the spices, herbs and salt (half of which is for the fennel, which goes on the outside of the bird, and didn’t contribute much flavor I could taste), so it’s not a cheap recipe. Plus it’s hard to get the right grind of salt here. The rock salt is way too chunky (and might have things in it that aren’t good for you), and kosher salt is too fine. So even though the bird came out tasty, between the hassle and the cost, I don’t think I’ll do it again.

Satuday, was a day for being social. I went out to Burnsville with Mark and shot up some paper, then we grabbed Jim, and went down to Dulono’s to watch Cousin Dad. We ended up seeing Kari there, too, and between chatting with her and enjoying the music, we stayed through a set and a half. Should have called it a night at that point, but Jim wanted to swing by Manning’s. We did, and then headed to the Sporty for another. And a few more. Sunday was a pretty lazy day, as a result.

Today, I’ve got some more work to do, and I think it’s time to get serious about looking for a long-term solution to the work thing. I either need to get started on a project that I can sell soon, or I need to update the resume so I can shop myself around more effectively. The big question that remains is whether I’m open to a full-time job working for someone else, and I think I might be.

22. April, 2005 - busy day?

It could be. I’ve spent most of my morning blogging-time working on work and the day already has a frantic feel to it. But hey, at least it’s Friday, right? Only seven more days to the weekend!

21. April, 2005 - pleasant days

Yesterday was pretty good. Some work in the morning, and when progress stalled, I just walked away from the computer for a while. Stocked up on groceries a bit (actually, more on herbs and spices for some recipes I want to get to soon), then mowed the lawn for the first time of the year. Nothing too exciting, but it’s another sign of summer in April. Last year, it was May 5 when I used the mower for the first time, so I’m not off base thinking things are happening early this year.

Today looks like it should be another nice day. I’ve got a couple emails I want to answer, then some work, then it’s off to suburbia for a meeting. Depending on how that goes, I might try to work this afternoon, or I might stop and buy those onion sets I keep yammering on about and get them stuck in the garden before it rains tomorrow.

The ducks are back, too. I’m starting to think that they’ve nested, since they’re only appearing one at a time right now, after both of them were waddling around the yard last week. Not sure it’s the same pair as last year, but it makes sense that they’d return, since there’s good grub for them beneath the bird-feeders. Speaking of good grub, I think it’s time for some breakfast for me. Catch ya tomorrow.

20. April, 2005 - Habemvs Papam

There’s a new Holy Father in Rome, and while his biography doesn’t please everyone, I find that I’m somewhat encouraged that they actually elected a Catholic for the job. As for the Hitler Youth thing, I think there are two points. One is that it was mandatory to join the Hitler Youth in 1936, and Ratzinger should have joined in April, 1937 on his tenth birthday. The second, is as PapaScott points out, I don’t think anyone who did not live as a teenager in a wartime dictatorship is in any position to judge whether that was right or wrong. Overall, I don’t think he that much of a change from John Paul II, and that’s probably just fine for an organization as conservative as the Catholic Church. Yes, he was probably on the wrong side of the sexual-abuse issues the Church has been wrestling with, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a candidate for the job who wasn’t in a state of denial at some point. That doesn’t mean I excuse it, but people fuck up, even some who end up being pope.

On the home front, yesterday was cool and wet. It should have been a super-productive day for work, but I’m bumping against a particularly tricky problem I need to solve, and spent most of the day pondering it and scratching my head, rather than making any real progress. There are going to be days like that, I guess, but I was hoping yesterday wouldn’t be one of them.

Today, I’m looking at more work. Hopefully my brain will decide to wrap itself around the problem I’m wrestling with, but if not, I think it might be a good day to get to some of those outside tasks I’ve been putting off. Like finishing getting the trike ready for the summer, and putting on some miles. Or buying some gas for the lawnmower, and giving the lawn that first once-over of the spring. Or sticking some onions and garlic into the garden. It’s supposed to be around 60° and breezy, which is just a fine temperature for me to be doing anything more strenuous than sitting in a lawn-chair outside.

19. April, 2005 - hot, cold, sunny, rainy

Yesterday, hot weather. Over 80°F in April. That Just Ain’t Right, no matter how much I enjoyed walking in the sun. I spent the early morning sending out the invoices for mid-month, paying mom’s bills that had shown up in the past week, and emailing back and forth with various people trying to sort out some of the business stuff I mentioned yesterday. When that was done, I was ready for a break, and heading to the bank seemed perfect. Jerry Rau was out on the street in Dinkytown, and I stopped to chat with him for a bit after eating lunch. We’ve both got apple trees that are almost done blooming, and neither of us has seen a bee yet. Dunno if the lack of pollinators means no fruit this year or not, but I suspect so.

Once I got home, it was time for a short nap. I’ve finally adjusted to Daylight Savings Time, and am waking up at five, finishing blogging, breakfast and a shower before nine, work until it’s time for lunch, then a short nap, and work until it’s time for supper and a bit of TV and web-surfing before bed. It’s a schedule that suits me. It’s even better when I’m as productive as I was yesterday afternoon. Supper came with a surprise, though. Mom has inhaled some of her supper and got to make a trip to the ER. She’s okay, but there were a couple tense hours while I waited for the doctor to decide she was okay. Not the kind of adrenaline jolt I needed when I was trying to wind down for the day.

So today, the blog-fodder’s a bit lighter than usual. Sorry about that, but with the excitement in my personal life yesterday, most of the stories I read didn’t seem all that blogworthy.

This morning, it’s supposed to rain and cool down a bit. Almost back to normal temps for this time of year in Minnesota. We’ve already had enough warm that everything is greening up and I’m thinking I’m going to need to go get some gas for the lawnmower soon. Plus there’s still that trip to buy the onion sets for the garden. I bet they go in sometime this week yet, all the dire warnings of frost to the contrary.

18. April, 2005 - tumult

The weekend, it was a pretty good one. I got the taxes dealt with on Friday and got a little work done. Saturday, Bill and I played gun nuts, stopping by KGS to talk to Mark, and then heading over to the big gun-show at the Fairgrounds. I ran into my step-uncle and aunt there, and talked to them for a few minutes. I also fulfilled my BAG Day obligation. Then Bill and I hung out and just gabbed for a while. It was nice to catch up. Sunday, up to mom’s for shopping and lunch, then down to St. Paul for the Saints Season Ticket Holder Party. More catching up with people I haven’t seen for a few months, plus some pretty darned good beer. When that was done, it was home for a quiet evening, since I figured this week was going to be one that should be full of work, and I wanted to hit it full-steam this morning.

Which brings me to today. I’d already gotten one bit of news over the weekend that’s going to affect my business some (I haven’t figured out how yet), and when I checked my email this morning, there was a message telling me of another change that’s really going to affect my business. Now this isn’t completely unexpected — I’ve known for months that I would have to spend some time refocusing the business. We offer too many different services: Mac programming, web programming, web design, and QA and tech support. I’ve tried to be too many things to too many people. And much of that was by design. I would like to be a full-service operation. The problem is that there are too many of those different tasks that fall on my shoulders, and as such, I had to turn down what sounded like a perfect gig for my company because I wasn’t sure I could handle the responsibilities that would come with it.

I’m not looking for sympathy here. The biggest problem is that I’ve been trying to do too much, and haven’t been successful in delegating. I knew that. I even had some ideas about how to improve. But with the news that hit this weekend, I’m not sure if I want to improve, or whether I should maybe just update my resume and start looking around for a full-time job. That would definitely be simpler. And probably a lot more remunerative, if what I’m hearing about the job market is true. But it would also be more restrictive. I’d be working to someone else’s schedule, and at someone else’s location.

Anyway, I’m not sure what I’m going to do. I’ve got a few days before I need to panic, and I’ve still got a lot of work I need to get done this week, so I’ll probably concentrate on that, but it’s also time to sort out the long-term plans. If you see me in person, and I seem distracted, that’s probably what’s got me thinking.

17. April, 2005 - KGS update

Stopped by KGS yesterday. They have filed an appeal with the Zoning Board of Adjustment in Minneapolis, and have an extension of their deadline until May 19, 2005, when a hearing will be held downtown. The public hearing will be at 2pm on May 19, 2005 in City Hall. Room 220CH. This buys them another month, and in that month, they’re planning to file in state court, as well. Financial times are tough, and if you can afford to give a few bucks via their paypal account (there’s a button on their about page), or buy a mug (available next week), they’d sure appreciate the support.

15. April, 2005 - tax day

Yesterday, I sold mom’s car. Today I send money off for taxes, get some work done, and try not to notice that it’s nice out today, and probably going to rain sometime this weekend. And I’ve got enough plans for the weekend that I expect Monday is going to be one of those days when going back to work feels like a break. Oh well. Nothing for it but to get started. Hope you have a spiffy weekend.

14. April, 2005 - one day left

I retrieved mom’s car yesterday. Thanks to Tim for the help. Now I just need to unload the car. As ever, if you’re interested, drop me a note.

So there’s that to deal with today. And then there’s tomorrow, when I need to have a big, whopping chunk of money ready to send off to the government so they can spend it on all sorts of really useful things.

13. April, 2005 - brilliant sunshine

Yesterday was another wet and rainy day, and it affected my outlook all day. I just wasn’t very excited about anything, and from the sounds of things during my brief outing for lunch, I wasn’t the only one. It was a good day to huddle at home.

Today, we’re supposed to have “brilliant sunshine” all day. And after yesterday’s lethargy, I find myself once again with a pretty full list of things to do. Not the least of which is figuring out a way to deal with my mom’s car. It needs to be sold, and the neighbor of hers who wants to buy it has decided that they’re just not going to be able to afford it now. Which leaves me with a car that I need to sell that’s located about eighty miles from where I sit typing this. And the one sure buyer (a friend who runs an auto dealership) is another hour in the opposite direction. It’s not an impossible problem to solve, but it’s complicated enough that it will require either some thought or some help.

Meanwhile, if you’re located near me and interested in buying a 2002 Dodge Neon ES with low miles, drop me a note. I’d like to get it dealt with soon, so I can cross something off of the to-do list.

12. April, 2005 - KGS to close?

In local news, the City of Minneapolis might finally be driving Koscielski’s Guns and Ammo out of business. There’s more on their about us page. Mark’s hung on in Minneapolis for far longer than anyone expected him to, the battle he’s fighting against the zoning in Minneapolis is a tough one. Hat tip to Joel Rosenberg for publicizing this.

It’s been fifteen years that Minneapolis has been trying to outlaw gun shops within city limits by using zoning regulations to make it impossible to sell guns in the city. Mark’s been fighting this all along, and since 1995 has been the only shop allowed in Minneapolis. In 2002, it became impossible for Mark to locate his shop anywhere in Minneapolis due to revisions in the zoning ordinances. He moved, and reopened anyhow while continuing to fight the city in court.

Why is this a big deal? Well, mostly it’s still legal to own a shop that sells guns, and in various legal battles, it’s been determined that using zoning to force people out of business isn’t kosher. Look into the history of “adult shops” in various cities for more on that. I don’t think it’s right to use zoning to make it impossible for a legal business to operate within the city, and neither does Mark.

Here’s some of the history: Mark reopened in July 2003, sued the city later that same month, and continued his battle into 2004. In September of 2004, Doug Grow discovered Mark’s a good guy, too. True, when facing a battle like this, Mark tends to get his back up, and is definitely a thorn in the sides of the powers that be in City Hall, but show me anyone who wouldn’t get a little prickly after fifteen years of legal fights. I really admire Mark’s persistance in this battle, and hope something can be done to help him keep his business.

With that said, here are a few non-gun-nut links for the day for those of you whose eyes haven’t already glazed over.

11. April, 2005 - greening up

I looked out the window yesterday and noticed that my apple tree has bloomed. If I were less of a slacker, I’d probably have a picture to post here. A number of other trees are showing leaves, and while I like the spring weather, I keep thinking to myself that “this is just too early.” Last year, it was a week later than this when I planted stuff outside, and some of it ended up getting frozen out, so I don’t want to plant too much, but it’s probably time to get onions and garlic in, at a minimum. Later this week once the rain has passed. Looks like Wednesday or Thursday might be the target date.

I did a little shopping on Saturday to buy some containers to hold my herbs and spices in the kitchen, and after trying various stores, found that Target had some Altoids Citrus Sours on clearance, and those little tins, filled with candy that nobody wanted, were cheaper than any other tins I could find. The snag, of course (you knew there had to be a snag, right?) is that I need to wash them to clear out the candy-dust. But I think they’ll work pretty well. I’ll need to make up new labels and stick them to a cupboard door with velcro (also purchased during that shopping trip), but then I should have my herbs and spices organized so I can find them easily and free up a shelf in the cupboard, too. It also gives me an excuse to refresh some of the ones that have gotten old.

But that’s about all I got done all weekend. Yes, there was the trip up to mom’s. And I did stop by East River Market and discover that Nena’s now stocking Cracker Nuts (except for the Garlic, which are my favorite flavor). She’s also going to order me a wok, since I decided I need one, and couldn’t find a decent one during my shopping trip. But this weekend mostly consisted of laying groundwork for getting things done, rather than actually accomplishing anything. There were a lot of hours spent suckling at the glass teat and not all that much else. At least it had the decency to rain yesterday, so I didn’t feel too bad about spending the afternoon lounging on the couch.

8. April, 2005 - home opener

It’s a friday, and for some reason, it seems better to ramble after the links today. I’ve got another fairly full day in front of me, and am just hoping that somehow I manage to find the time to get my trike ready to ride for the season. I don’t need to do anything major with it, but I was trying to be a good worker-bee yesterday, and even thinking about going out for a ride or how nice it was threatened to sap my productivity, so I didn’t. Today threatens to be much the same.

From the sound of things, we’re due for a beautiful weekend, though. As I’ve said to a few folks lately, I almost wish we’d gotten just one more week of wintry weather (or even normal spring rains) before it got this nice out. I’ve still got too many things that I need to stay inside for, and when I know it’s nice outside, that makes it just that much harder to concentrate indoors. I guess it’s spring fever.

7. April, 2005 - adjusting

Sometimes it seems as though all I need to do to solve a problem is to publicly gripe about it. Last night, I finally managed to get to sleep “on time” and today I woke up on my normal schedule, adjusted for daylight savings time and all. It helped that I had turned the furnace way down on Tuesday, back when it was warm outside, and had forgotten to turn it back up after closing the windows yesterday morning. When I woke up this morning, it was pretty darned chilly in the house and that makes for better sleeping and a brisk wakeup. Guess it’s a little too early in the season to be completely shutting off the furnace just yet, even with the freakishly warm weather we’ve had this spring.

Today, work. Two projects need to be completed before next week, and I’m going to try and get good chunks of both of them done before tomorrow evening. That means getting a lot done today, and ignoring the distractions like worrying about the taxes that aren’t even due until next week anyhow.

6. April, 2005 - stuck in standard time

It seems that I'm not the only one having trouble adjusting to daylight savings time, but this is getting silly. Last night, after happy hour with some ex-cow-orkers, I swung by the Sporty for some smoke-free bingo. Won twice, scoring free mozz sticks and a beer. Ended up staying up past midnight again, which means a late start again this morning.

But hey, the computer seems to be running well again. I guess getting cool air to the CPU is kinda important, and a dust-bunny the size of a deck of cards covering the air-intake will inhibit that. Who knew?

5. April, 2005 - expletive deleted

It’s coming up on two AM, and I’ve been fighting with my computer since before midnight. It seems to be working well enough that I can write this now, but somewhere along the way the stupid software that swaps the ALT and Windows keys on my microsoft keyboard so they work like a Macintosh’s Command and Option keys quit working, and those are so hardwired into my brain, I’m nearly non-functional anyhow. At least the mysterious thing where I would click on something and the computer would just power off seems to be gone for the moment.

In any case, between fighting the computer, not being able to use any hotkeys, and being up until 2am, I’m pretty sure there won’t be an update today. Sorry about that, but I’m probably going to spend the morning hauling the stupid box out to the Apple Store and seeing what they can do to make it happier.

Some days I hate computers. This is one of those days.

4. April, 2005 - running late

Daylight Savings Time kicked in this weekend, and I’m not the only one who’s still adjusting to it. I’m not quite as grumpy as Kim is about it, but I’m also running just about an hour late. Funny how that works.

On Friday one of my cousins who I haven’t seen since our grandmother’s funeral in 1979 got married, and I attended the wedding. It was good reconnecting with some family, but now I’m going to have a flurry of updates to the genealogy database again so I can have a prettied-up family history ready for him when he gets back from his honeymoon.

Saturday I slept in. That’s the second time in the past week that my body just decided it needed more sleep than I was giving it. In the evening, there was Kat’s party, and I left relatively early so I could be awake for Sunday.

Sunday was a trip up to visit mom. When I got home from that, I attacked the garage a bit more. I can actually get to my trike now, and plan on doing the spring tune-up either today or tomorrow so I can ride once tomorrow’s predicted rain has passed. I can also get to the lawnmower, which I’ll need sooner than I would like to think about. And there was another nap, which didn’t help in my plan of getting to bed at "the right time" under the new clock. But today looks busy enough that I’ll probably be tired and should get back in sync with the rest of the world sometime in the next couple days.

1. April, 2005 - F-f-f-foolin’

I looked back and discovered I’ve used the headline “No Foolin’” on April first three times before, so I didn’t want to use it again today. And what should pop into my brain but a Def Leppard song? Sheesh. Sometimes my brain disturbs me.

No real news out of yesterday’s day off. There are just times when one’s body says Enough! and yesterday was one of those days for me. The timing wasn’t great, as I was trying to put in extra hours working this week. Nor did I head out last night to determine the impact of the smoking ban in Minneapolis. So really, I’m just typing along here saying that I don’t really have any news for you today.

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Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:58:49.