May 2005 Full Listing

31. May, 2005 - ending & beginning

May, it’s done. Well, maybe not quite, but today’s the last of it, and what with coming out of a long holiday weekend, I’m treating today more like June 0th than May 31st. I’m going to try and plow through all the start-of-week and start-of-month stuff today so the decks will be clear for tomorrow.

The weekend? Saints on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Lost two of the three to Kansas City, which isn’t encouraging, since the Saints are in the same division as the T-Bones this year. Decent food through the weekend, and even more work to do putting the recipes up. Maybe that’ll happen this week, but then again, maybe not.

On Saturday night, Adam Olow hurt himself sliding into second. Now the St. Paul Saints will miss ‘best hitter in league’ for a month due to a sprained ankle. Ouch.

Saturday night/Sunday morning saw my first real glitch with ipHouse. They had moved the old ProNS DNS servers, and that meant that suddenly DNS wasn’t working for me. Much worse, it wasn’t working on my server, which meant that the 800-odd spams that came in while I slept Saturday night could neither be flagged as spam nor bounced, and I had to spend some time Sunday morning first figuring out the DNS problems, and then sorting out the mess that 900 spams (they didn’t stop coming while I was fixing things) leaves. Eww.

Yesterday? Big plans for getting things done around the house. Instead I headed up to mom’s to visit her and got stuck in traffic (at 2pm!) returning to the Cities. I ventured off onto side roads, since I’d rather drive 45 with an occasional stoplight than alternate between 70 and 35 on the freeway. When I finally made it home, I took care of the things that had to be done, and then collapsed on the couch, letting everything else wait for today. As if I didn’t already have enough to do.

27. May, 2005 - I love you, man


Last night was an interesting one, alright. I spent the day working, trying to wrap up a project that’s been going on for a good long time. Things went pretty well, and I’m thinking that I’ll finish all the bits I’m supposed to work on before the deeadline I’ve been given. Not much earlier, but enough to make the client happy.

So I spent last evening “celebrating” where I am on the project. Stopped by the Sporty for dinner, and ended up spending the night. The most notable thing of the evening was talking with a gal who had recently been dumped by her stupid boyfriend. She’s a cute 21-year-old, and while she’s young, she’s one of the Sporty gals that I think has her life mostly together. The high point of the evening was me saying something inane like “dude, if I wasn’t twenty years older than you, I’d do you in a heartbeat.” but I actually meant it, and there’s an outside chance that it made her feel better. In any case, it’s where the subject for today comes from. Besides, that’s just what friends do.

I wonder about this sort of thing, though. Is it better for me to tell the truth (i.e. I think this gal’s a catch, and the boyfriend who dumped her is a putz), or should I maybe keep my big yap shut and not be getting involved in the romantic lives of folks twenty years my junior. I dunno. But at least there’s a ballgame this evening that will help take my mind off the problem.

26. May, 2005 - sunnier

Man. I was feeling pretty cranky yesterday. I solved the problem somewhat by heading out and shopping for a new chair. I think I’m probably going to get a Knoll Open Up, but I’m going to ponder for a little longer. At nearly $900 for a chair, it’s not the kind of thing to rush into, especially since I’m going to be needing a new computer sometime this summer, too.

Last night, George Tsamis got his 300th win, in what sounds like a darned good game. I spent the evening at home, listening to the rain on my windows, rather than sitting in it. Steve Butler, a late addition to the game, Helped The Saints Win, 9-7 when he was put in for Justin Hall during the pre-game rain delay.

Today there’s the “Kids Game” over in St. Paul. An eleven AM start. I could go over there, and it looks as though my schedule would even permit it, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to stay home instead. There’s plenty to do around here, and perhaps the sunshine streaming in my windows will encourage me to get it done. I’m in a better mood at this point in the day, at least, and that’s got to count for something.

25. May, 2005 - tired

Today, I’m almost hoping it’ll rain all day. I’ve been spending almost all my waking hours either sitting in front of my computer or on the aluminum bleachers at Midway, and my knees and back are starting to feel it. The knees are sore because almost everything I sit in ends up putting my ass below my knees (including my Aeron chair, which doesn’t come with a long enough seat-post for people my height in the first place, and mine has started lowering my fat ass to the ground over the course of the day), leading to a crunchy-knee-feeling by the end of the day. The best solution to this problem is to get out biking, but I still need find the time to finish the spring tune-up on my trike. Maybe a rainy day will supply that time.

The Saints game last night? Another win. St. Paul’s paper says Munoz, Cox help Saints stymie Cats, but I’m pretty sure the Saints were playing the Vipers last night, not the Cracker-Cats. I wonder where the press-release went wrong, especially since the story from the Saints: Saints Make It Three In A Row, 7-6 gets it right.

And the links that follow? Well, I took a few days off from griping about the bad legislation we keep getting, so I guess today I’ll catch up on that a bit. It’s not a particularly happy view of the world I have this morning.

24. May, 2005 - beautiful weather

Yesterday was about as good as the weather in Minnesota gets. Sunny, around 70, and just enough breeze to keep the air clear. I celebrated it by talking to Jon from Finer Surroundings as he replaced the window that broke a while back (under warranty) and mowing the lawn. When that was done, I spent a while gabbing with a neighbor who was also out doing yard work. A little lunch, a little work, then it was time to get the chicken ready (based on AB’s recipe) and out to the ballgame.

The Saints picked up where they’d left off Sunday afternoon, and ended up beating Schaumburg 13-9, and tying the series. Schaumburg’s pitching staff reminds me of Spahn and Sain and two days of rain. They’ve got a couple pretty darned good starting pitchers, but once you get past those, there’s no depth in their pitching staff.

Once again, I’m going to have to promise the pictures from the ballpark are still coming. I haven’t had time to suck everything from the camera and sort them out yet. Maybe today if I can get the bug I’m working on stomped quickly.

23. May, 2005 - toasty

A weekend full of Saints games. First one of the regular season, and there were plenty of reminders of things that I don’t get right until I’ve had a chance to remind myself of my stupidity by showing up in the parking lot without something I need. Luckily, I hang out with people who are both generous and better prepared than I am, so all went well.

The things I forgot this year were gas for the portable stove that’s used for Sunday breakfasts, and sunblock. The first was solvable, since Pete had a spare can of gas. The second, well, let’s just say I’m feeling a little pink today.

The Saints faced Schaumburg’s best two pitchers on Friday and Saturday nights. The results were not so good, as the local boys lost the first two of the series. Yesterday, they set a new league record for doubles with ten, while going on to win 15-2. I think we’re past the best of the Schaumburg pitching at this point, and have high hopes for game four against the Flyers.

There’s also interest from the Saints of in a cookbook of tailgating recipes. Annie stopped by and mentioned it before I had a chance to bring it up, so I’m going to try to start collecting the recipes I use each night before I forget them. We’ll see how it goes, but there’s an outside chance I’ll have another book by the end of the season, and this time with someone else to sell it. That would be fun, I think.

For the record, Friday night was simple. Steak and standard yellow store-bought potato salad. Saturday, I made some polenta (or grits) for breakfast, then chilled ’em to have patties for the game to serve as an appetizer before some fajitas. Sunday was breakfast sandwiches (using sausage patties) pre-game, and some cocktail shrimp post-game. Only one or two recipes will come out of this weekend, but I’ve got a long home-stand (not to mention a long season) ahead of me, so I don’t want to burn myself out before I even get started.

I also have some pictures taken over the weekend, but I’m running late this morning, so they’re going to have to wait until later in the week. Sorry.

20. May, 2005 - late again

Well, that’s not too bad. Got the links done and you’ve got something else to read now.

Gonna be another day with late links. I’m still awake at three ayem, after a day with a whole bunch of bug-stomping, then a fine Korean dinner, then N beers at the Sporty, then some more bug-fixing, and at this point, all I can say is that Thursday was a very good day for me. Heck, UPS even found my house to deliver my book.

There might be some more here later in the day, but then again, the Saints start the regular season tonight (and by the way, NHK will have a crew there, so if you have one of the Japanese Saints T-Shirts, please wear it to the game — it’ll make Seigo a happy boy), so I might not be typing at you until Monday. I’m sure I’m capable of being that irresponsible.

19. May, 2005 - frustration
the new house
hmm… which apartment to deliver to?

I’m hating UPS again. A book I wanted to take a look into yesterday is supposed to be on the way from amazon. At 12:30, while I was sitting at home, the UPS driver tried to deliver it to the apartment down the street from me. At 4:30, the tracking information finally updated, and I called in to find out how I could get my book. At 7pm, after two trips to the UPS place, I finally gave up. UPS has my book, and I’ll get it when they damned well feel like giving it to me. Unless they just can’t find it at all, which is where things were when I gave up last night. I probably didn’t win any friends with my parting comment, either. When you find the package, why don’t you just give it to FedEx to deliver? They don’t seem to need an apartment number to deliver to my house.

That was just the capper for a generally frustrating day. The bugs I need to fix aren’t yielding to my normal bug-stomping techniques, and what I’d really like is to be able to take a walk in the sunshine to clear my brain. There’s no sunshine to be had, though.

18. May, 2005 - more rain?

Sheesh. Wake up this morning, and it’s raining again. With more forecast for tomorrow. Maybe on Friday it’ll clear up, but it’s starting to sap my energy. Yesterday, between the showers, I managed to get the onions planted. The only thing left to go in is the garlic, and I’m trying to decide between planting the stuff that’s started to sprout in my kitchen and buying some stuff a nursery has given a head-start for me. Might get to that today if the water ever stops falling from the sky.

Most of the rest of yesterday was spent fixing bugs. As is typical, when encountering a bug, I started by stripping out all the code that’s just plain wrong and putting in comments about how it should work. Today, I try to write code that works correctly for one particularly troublesome bug, but it looks as though once again, every bug I fix will mean negative lines of code. Who says metrics aren’t useful?

One other notable thing yesterday: I had a hankerin’, so I headed up to Long John Silver’s for lunch. The fish was as tasty as I remember it from back before all the local locations went away (early 1980s, as I recall), but the Hushpuppies were disappointing. The outsides were too slick and the darned things lacked any sort of texture at all. Sigh. So I’m guessing that at some point I’m going to have to fill up a container with hot oil and make some myself. I guess that’s one item worked out for the tailgating menu this year. Reminds me that the season starts in two short days.

Links? Well, they’re in short supply today, too. Sorry about that. The rain has my mood down, and there are just too many things I don’t want to blog about today.

17. May, 2005 - A Moving Experience

First, in site-news, last night’s server-move went well. No longer is my server located where it has been for the past three years, but instead it’s in its new home downtown. Sometime this morning, my DSL line will get switched, and then my transfer to my new ISP will be complete. I’m going to miss my old Mr. ISP, but what are you going to do?

That’s not all that happened yesterday. There was a flurry of administrivia in the morning. Invoices were submitted, checks were deposited, and bills were paid. There were also stops at the post office, McD’s, and a stop by the temporary garden center set up in St. Anchovy. If you decide to shop there, be aware that you should keep a close eye on the cashier, since my three tomatoes, three peppers, parsley plant, bunch of peppermint, and tub of onions got rung up as nine six-pack-planters of herbs, then a ten twenty twenty-five percent discount because I said that ain’t right. I’m pretty sure I still overpaid, but it got the total down to the twenty bucks I had planned on spending, so I didn’t argue any more. Then it was home to stick the plants in the ground. I got everything but the onions planted before the rain chased me inside.

The afternoon and evening were spent trying to make some tortuous code run more quickly. No real success, but I learned some stuff about the code that I can maybe make use of today. After some din-din, on the way to move the server, I stopped by Steph’s with a few violets I had moved to make room for the veggies (the darned things grow like weeds, y’know). Then server things that I’ve already mentioned. When I got home from that, my neighbor had left a couple wild rose plants sitting on my step (we’d talked about me taking them during our Sunday chat) so I did some gardening in the dark, plunking them into freshly-made holes in the back yard. That was it for the day for me. A busy day makes for good sleep.

16. May, 2005 - steenking badges

First the weekend roundup. Spent Friday night at the Saints game. It was chilly, and thankfully the game went quickly. On the way home, I dropped a friend at the Amtrak depot so he could catch his train to Fargo where he was going to run a half-marathon. Then a stop at the Sporty. When I finally got home, I capped the night with a shot of Nyquil, and slept soundly. Until six AM. Feeling as though I hadn’t had enough sleep, I took some more Nyquil and went back to bed. This time it worked, and I slept until noon.

I spent Saturday with a hangover from the cough-medicine (and possibly from the beer). Nothing horrible, just a fuzzy-brained-feeling that persisted most of the day. But Mark was having a barbecue, so I headed out to Cabbage Patch and enjoyed the day as best I could. I got pressed into tending the grill, and managed to time things so I didn’t have to spend too much time outside in the scattered showers. That was fine by me, since I’ve got a lot of practice at tending meat over flames. I managed to get almost all the meat done at the same time, but we hadn’t planned ahead enough to have the corn with the rest of the food. When I got home, I spent an hour or so watching TV and then called it a day.

Sunday was the weekly trip up to see mom. Got home and took a nap, since while I’m mostly over my cold, I was still tired. When the sunlight coming through the west-windows of my house woke me up, I headed outside to mow the lawn. The noise from the lawnmower brought a few neighbors out to work in their yards as well, and we ended up chatting for an hour or so. I’ve got an offer for a couple wild roses I can have for the effort of transplanting them, plus one neighbor who’s going to help thin my lilies a bit. And I got a slice of rhubarb cake out of the deal!

That brings us to today. It looks like a busy day. There’s the normal mid-month work to be done, plus some work I had thought about doing yesterday afternoon before the weather turned decent. Plus I want to get the garden planted. Oh, and I need to move my webserver this evening. You may notice an outage.

I had a friend ask what the big deal with the REAL ID Law was, and realized I need to do some additional explaining. Claire’s articles above are a good start. But the new law does not mandate an additional ID card. It puts federal standards on existing state ID and driver’s licenses. The big changes are that some information that Minnesota has left off IDs will now be required (most notably your social security number and some “biometric identifier”, plus the card will need to be machine readable.

But due to the creeping post-9/11 security-state, you already need picture ID to travel by any motorized or commercial transit already. You can’t get on a plane, train, or long-haul bus without showing ID. That already rankles, but at least in the case of MN IDs, those companies couldn’t collect my social security number, which may have made it a little (though not much) tougher for them to put the pieces together.

Claire covers this in the “mission creep” section of her line in the sand. Second, there’s the question of why the government feels entitled to poke into my life. Third, there’s the violation of rights. Claire points out the Fourth, Fifth, First, Ninth and Tenth amendment violations. And all this government snooping won’t make us any safer. Would-be terrorists will still find a way to procure either fake or genuine US-government-approved ID, so we won’t be any safer.

Finally, I visited security-states in Eastern Europe in the early 1980s. The presence of police everywhere, like that of National Guardsmen in the airports, may make for safer streets, but it also gives you a sense of conitnually being watched. Add in the fact that going nearly anywhere would mean at least one stop by some official who would demand to see your papers, and it was an oppressive atmosphere. Since I was in high school at the time, we did our best to laugh it off, but there was still that feelign that we were continually being watched. People adjust to it, since humans are pretty darned adaptable, but that’s exactly what worries me about the current situation in the US. People will adjust to the heightened level of surveillance. And I fear that the government will ratchet things up another notch or two. The police-states of Cold War Eastern Europe didn’t happen with any single event, either. They gradually built until the system finally collapsed. But the leaders of many pro-democracy movements were jailed because the government could easily track their whereabouts. And that’s what worries me about REAL ID.

13. May, 2005 - Papieren Bitte!

I’ve been ranting about the Real ID Law (since Bush signed it on Wednesday) around here. Many may not think this is a big deal, but I think it is. We have, for the first time in this country, a nationwide identification card, which will be needed to travel (via airplane, bus, train, or car). To me, that sounds like an internal passport, almost identical to those used in the Soviet Union. And that just ain’t right.

Sorry if you’re not concerned about that. I did include some other links below, but I think this is one of the bigger issues of the day, and will probably continue to rant about it for a while.

12. May, 2005 - Rainy & Cold

Today looks like a good day to stay inside. There was a stretch yesterday afternoon when the sun was out and it felt nice outside. My neighbor was outside mowing his lawn, and I thought briefly that I should be doing the same, but I think I’m going to wait for the weekend and hope the weather will cooperate before the grass gets so tall my lawnmower won’t be able to handle it. This morning, we’re in April again, except for all the vegetation.

I’m reminded of an aphorism that says If you don’t treat a cold, it lasts seven days. If you do treat it, it lasts a week. I should have remembered that earlier, but since I’m in day six here, that offers some hope.

11. May, 2005 - rained out

Went to the Saints game again last night. Started out with over a half-hour rain-delay, as a light rain was falling at the scheduled start-time, and then they got in four innings before the rain picked up enough again to chase everyone. But it had been raining most of the way through the game, and I don’t think anyone was disappointed when they decided they’d played enough. It’s the pre-season after all, and the Saints were ahead of Winnepeg 5-3 (I think — the bottom half of the scoreboard had shorted out at the start of the game) on the strength of a five-run third inning.

But it was nice to get home a little early. I got to sleep early, and only got woken up by my cold a couple times during the night. The weather’s supposed to be pretty crummy the rest of the week, and I think that’s going to suit me just fine. I need to stay inside and concentrate on work, and it doesn’t appear as though any distractions are going to get in my way. Of course, I’m resourceful enough that I’ll probably find something to distract myself with, but at least I don’t have any excuses ready just yet.

10. May, 2005 - first ballgame (for me)

Finally made it to a Saints game last night. Their third pre-season game, and my first. It rained, and the game was delayed a bit, and the Saints lost, but I still had fun. I’ve also reached the point in the cold where the side-effects from the medication are almost worse than the symptoms I’m trying to address. I guess that’s good, except for the three hours of sleep I got last night because the Sudafed kept me awake. Grr.

And that’s really all the news. Work continues, and the end of the project draws ever-nearer. I’ve hit the point in the project where I’m busy enough to not even be looking for something to follow it with. That’s probably not good planning, but between the cold, trying to tackle the last few bugs, and Saints games to attend, I’m out of hours in the day.

9. May, 2005 - head full of snot

Probably a short update. I started coming down with a cold on Friday, and by Saturday it was in full swing. I didn’t go to the Saints pre-season opener, and definitely didn’t make it to the 5:30 am game. In fact, I wouldn’t have moved at all during the weekend if I hadn’t run out of food and cough syrup Sunday morning.

Today, I’m still feeling pretty crummy. There are a couple hours of work I need to get done today, and that’s probably going to be it for the day — the way I’m feeling, they’ll probably take most of the day.

6. May, 2005 - early/late

About once a month I do the update here before I go to bed pass out. This is the one of those for May, apparently.

Last night, Jim and I went to the Swinging For The Fences lecture at the Mill City Museum. It was a good lecture, and I bought the book. We’d stopped by the Sporty before heading down, and stopped back again on the way home. It was the latter that killed me (and caused me to write this earlier than usual, but not much).

It looked at first like a boring night, and I was figuring I’d get home early. But ’round about midnight, there was an influx of folks I knew and wanted to talk to. One of ’em was a gal, natch. Spent the rest of the night talking near her. Didn’t really expect to get lucky or anything, but it’s nice to talk to the cute chick, especially when I’m not planning anything. The problem struck around the tenth (?) beer or so, when I quit remembering that I’m twice her age and ended the night by making a clumsy and drunken pass at her at bar close.

You’d think that over twenty years of spending time in bars might give a guy a clue as to how to behave after a bunch of beers. Apparently you would be mistaken to think so.

Sheesh. I’m too old for this shit.

5. May, 2005 - My God! It’s Full of Fives!

I just checked back, and I didn’t make any special comment about the year, month and date being the same in 2001, 2002, 2003 or 2004, so I guess I’d better mention it now. Heck, it’ll only happen until 2012.

Good weather, and a relatively good day yesterday. Some work got done, but the chores around the house got left behind when I decided to head out for some buck burgers with friends. But it left me in a good mood last night, and feeling good this morning, so I think the break was worth it.

4. May, 2005 - back on track?

I had big plans for yesterday. I spent the day watching them unravel, so today’s plan is to just try to get through the things that were on my list for yesterday that I didn’t get done. And thus does the work-week slip by a day.

3. May, 2005 - frozen again

When I woke up this morning, the temperature was below freezing again. Brr. But there’s hope. According to the weather-girl last night, it’s supposed to warm up from here on out, with decent temperatures for this weekend’s Saints games. Might be raining, but I guess we’ll see about that as we get closer to the weekend.

Yesterday, as expected, I was tired from not getting enough sleep. It was a real battle to get all the administrative work done in the morning before running out for lunch and stamps, but I made it. A quick post-lunch nap, and I did pretty well through the rest of the afternoon. I even headed out to the garage after supper to flatten the stack of cardboard boxes that has been building up as I slowly unpack things.

Today? Work, then it’s time to finish clearing the workbench in the basement so I can actually use it. Alternately, I could wrap up the spring tune-up on the trike. I want to complete both of those tasks this week, and at this point, I don’t really care which gets done first, as long as something gets done. Yes, it would be nice to have the trike ready for more rides, but it would also be nice to get the workbench, umm, working, and if I start riding around on my trike, I suspect the basement will still be a mess this fall.

Of course, there's always the chance I'll swing over to St. Paul. The Saints are having their annual tryout camp today, and I've had fun watching that in the past. I suspect I'm not going to make it to that, but there's still a slim chance I'll find (or make) the time.

2. May, 2005 - snow in May

Nothing that stuck on the ground, but yeah, there were flakes falling from the sky yesterday, and when I woke up this morning, it was below freezing out there. After the warm weather in the first half of April, this just seems like a cruel trick. My apple tree thinks it’s a pretty cruel trick too, as all of its leaves are turning brown as though it’s fall out. Nothing to do but wait and see if it recovers, I guess.

The weekend around home was pretty good. A trip up to see mom Saturday morning. She really enjoys getting out to see people, and we stopped by the feed mill. I needed more seed for the birds, and it was a good excuse to visit with some folks. Everyone there knows her, and they were happy to see her, too. Saturday evening was an open house at a friend’s. Talked to a bunch of Saints fans who are excited about the season starting, even if there were snowflakes in the air. Sunday, I spent the day at home, catching up on sleep and a bunch of “little things” I needed to do to keep the place livable.

Sunday night, after I was done for the day, I dug in my stack of unread books for some light bedtime reading. I started reading Bruce Sterling’s The Zenith Angle ISBN:0345460618. The book was good enough that it was two in the morning by the time I finished it and finally got to sleep, so I’m running behind this morning.

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