June 2005 Full Listing

30. June, 2005 - Using my Pessimizer
San Francisco
San Francisco

First off, the last of the photos from San Francisco. A pretty standard skyline shot as we were about to pull back into the pier at the end of the cruise. I’m decidedly unsure about the way I placed the pyramid dead-center in the photo, and would probably try to frame this differently if I had a chance to do it again, but I’m not sure what I would change, exactly.

Yesterday was pretty darned productive, I think. Not everything on my to-do list got done, but I didn’t expect to finish everything up, and I got through most of the things I was worried about. Today I’ve got a similar amount of catching up to do, but it looks as though it’s reasonable and the items remaining on the list are mostly ones that won’t end up spinning out of control and turning into a multi-day ordeal.

Part of the improvement is that I tackled the tough things yesterday, but another part is that over the past year, since I started using Life Balance, I’ve gotten better at breaking large taskes up into smaller ones. Some mornings, the list looks huge, but that’s only because I’ve broken everything up into tasks that are an hour or less in duration, and it really helps me get a lot done when I need to. I still sometimes get sucked into exploding tasks, but now it’s usually because I have to deal with someone else who complicates things.

An example? Every time I have to deal with a “customer service” organization, I used to figure that was just a few minutes. Now I budget a full hour, figuring I’m going to be stuck on hold for a long time, and need to take the remainder of the hour to get my blood-pressure back down to normal afterwards. It doesn’t always take that long, but when things go well, I’m treating it as a pleasant surprise, rather than being grumpy when a five-minute task took an hour. Tuning my built-in pessimizer for the worst case seems to work well.

29. June, 2005 - catching up

Mom’s trip to the doctor completely whacked me yesterday. Between having to get up at 2:30AM and spending the next ten hours either driving or in a waiting room, I was wiped out and slept away most of the afternoon. But Mom’s surgery (removing a growth from her lower eyelid) went well, and the only real problem is that they didn’t have a black eye-patch for her, so she couldn’t pretend to be a pirate after the surgery, which disappointed her. I guess I should have done some shopping first. Today, I’m trying to catch up on all the things I was hoping to get done either Monday or yesterday afternoon. Urk. It looks like I’ve got a busy day in front of me, and much of it involves reading and writing email to clients. Some of it will be productive work, but there’s a lot of non-billable work to be done today, too.


Pictures: I’m nearing the end of both the cruise and the pictures. Two of Alcatraz today. The cruises that just circle the island still give you views that you can’t get from anywhere on-land, but I’m thinking that I need to actually get onto the island one of these years. It’s an imposing place from a distance, and I think that would be an even stronger feeling if I were to set foot inside. If you’re interested in more about the island, Alcatraz History seems pretty decent and has a lot more pictures for you to look at.

27. June, 2005 - pictures, weekend, kelo

I’ll start the day with some more of the pictures from my cruise around San Francisco Bay. Not a whole lot of explanation is needed for these two. There’s Alcatraz from a different angle than you can see from land, and a pretty decent shot of the San Francisco skyline. The one notable thing about the latter photo is that it’s just about exactly the extent of shoreline I walked (both directions) in June 2003. If you add in the walk I did this year from the Bay Bridge up to Fisherman’s Wharf, I’ve covered an awful lot of the waterfront in SF on foot over the years.

San Francisco
San Francisco

The weekend? It was a good one. More about the Saints games later, and that was the majority of my excitement for the weekend. Well, that and a swing by KGS, but I’ll have more on that, too. The other thing of note is that due to getting so very sun-baked yesterday, I was asleep by about 8pm. That was nice, but the waking up at 3am this morning, well, that I could have done without. Then again, I have to be up about that early tomorrow in order to get mom to an early-morning doctor’s appointment, so maybe my screwed up schedule is going to work for me for once.

And because of that early morning appointment, tomorrow’s update will be late. Probably mid-afternoon at the earliest. You have been warned.

24. June, 2005 - thunder?
The Brandts
The Brandts

The overnight storm didn’t develop. Until I started writing this for you this morning, at which point the rumbles started up out there. You had to figure there was going to be a good storm at some point after 96 degree heat (that’s 36 C for you more metric sorts) yesterday. I just figured it was going to come overnight, rather than after the sun had come up. Then again, there seems to be flashes and noise out there, but no rain yet, so we’ll see. Maybe this isn’t the big storm where the weather breaks. The forecast is saying the only real chance of rain is this morning, so I guess it is. Hmm.

Fort Point
Fort Point

The pictures today begin the Sunday in SF when I hung out with my friends Scott and Michelle (and their daughters) and went on a cruise in San Francisco Bay, thanks to another friend, Lisa, who got me a couple comps for the cruise. It was a good time, but the wind was pretty chilly once we got out on the water, and I was thankful that Scott had brought along an extra fleece jacket for me. Morning cruises have less wind, but more fog. Afternoon, more wind, but clear skies. Tough call. In either case, the nice thing about the Red & White cruises is that you just show up. They don’t take reservations, and you can pretty much go whenever you want, without having to plan way in advance.

The Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge

The wind was strong enough that we didn’t make it out the Golden Gate, though. The swells were just too much, and we turned around in the wind-shadow of one of the pilings of the bridge. That was a little disappointing, but it made sense, and once we’d turned around and started heading back downwind, the ride got a lot smoother. The turnaround happened just after I took this picture of the bridge, so I’ll leave the account of the rest of the cruise for later, when I post the rest of the pictures. I think there’s only one or two days of this sort of thing remaining, so if I’m boring you with the pictures, it’s almost done.

23. June, 2005 - Hot enough for ya?
TransAmerica Pyramid
TransAmerica Pyramid

Yesterday, I reminded myself once again that, to quote Homer J. Simpson, Lord help me, I’m just not that bright. In the morning, the temperature was in the mid-80s, but the dew had finally burned off the lawn, and forecast for today was saying a high of 95. So I went outside and mowed the lawn about 11am. Finished it up just before noon. And then spent the next hour sitting there, wondering just how long it would take me to recover to the point that my vision un-tunneled and I started thinking clearly again. About the only reason I didn’t call 911 was that I was still sweating profusely, so I was pretty sure it wasn’t heat stroke. Sheesh. Heck of a way to spend the afternoon.

Coit Tower
Coit Tower

Today’s pictures are two tall and notable buildings in the San Francisco skyline, both taken as I was walking along the Embarcadero from the Ferry Building to Fisherman’s Wharf. In both cases, the palm trees in the foreground added to the picture, I think, and they’re both angles I haven’t looked at before. I particularly like the one of the pyramid, with the tree framing it.

Today, it’s just going to be hot out. And the air will be full of ozone, if you believe the reports. I’m thinking it’ll be a good day to stay inside, except perhaps for a trip to the grocery store to restock the larder in preparation for the weekend’s games in St. Paul. Yes, that last will require driving, which will make things worse, but it’s gotta be done, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to find the time for it tomorrow.

22. June, 2005 - lighter side
Above the Chinatown Gate
Above the Chinatown Gate

The links today are lighter in character. Just plain fun stuff. No particular reason other than I’d collected a lot of this sort of thing, and don’t feel like holding them for Friday. Besides, work is continuing, and while I’m not making great progress, I need to keep plugging at it and try to wrap some things up this week, so I didn’t feel like getting all ranty this morning and putting myself in a bad mood. And then there’s the pictures. These are from the Saturday I spent wandering around San Francisco. Nothing all that special, but I tried seeing things I’ve looked at before from different angles. I’m reasonably happy with the results.

Sculpture & Ferry Building
Sculpture & Ferry Building

That first picture is the building right at the Chinatown Gate. Everyone takes pictures of the gate itself, but I decided to look up above it, and there was the picture.

The big bow and arrow sculpture that lives along the Embarcadero down by Pier 22 ½ is something I hadn’t seen before in SF. I’m not sure how I’d missed it, since I’ve walked around down there before, but maybe I’d just never gone much south of Market on the Embarcadero. Dunno. And after walking around it a bit, I decided I liked the way it framed the Ferry Building’s tower, and I was glad I’d hiked the extra blocks.

The Bay Bridge
The Bay Bridge

And then there’s the Bay Bridge. I’ve taken pictures of it from different angles before, but walking along until I was almost underneath it gave me some new angles to look at it from, and this is the one I like best. I also got the sailboat in the right place to make the whole picture look right to me. I dunno. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best of more than a dozen pictures I took of the bridge during that walk, and I’m reasonably happy with it.

Well, there’s a few pictures to brighten up your day, and now I guess it’s time for a few links. Enjoy.

21. June, 2005 - summer

It’s the first day of summer here in the northern hemisphere. Nothing all that special about it. For me, the first day of summer is when I set up the air conditioning, and that happened over the weekend.

Mono Lake
Mono Lake

Today continues the slow leak of pictures from my trip to San Francisco with the rest of the good pictures taken out the airplane window. The whole collection is here, by the way. First up is Mono Lake, which is darned picturesque from the ground, I’m told, and pretty darned easy to spot from the air, too. There were actually people coming over to the left side of the plane to get a look at it as we went past, even though there was no announcement by the captain.

San Francisco Bay’s south end
Cargill’s Bay

Next up, is Cargill’s Bay, at the south end of San Francisco Bay. The colors are striking from the air, and are the product of algae living in the brine. Apparently the different colors indicate different levels of salinity, with red being the saltiest. And then there’s Moffett Field. The longer of the two runways is 9200 feet long, and they’re both 200 feet wide. It’s neat the perspective you get from the air. The huge airship hangars look pretty small from a plane coming in to SFO.

Moffett Field
Moffett Field

On a more current note, I was pretty productive yesterday. Plowed through a lot of work in the morning, before the storm yesterday afternoon, when the nearly continuous rumble of thunder convinced me to shut down my computer until the weather had passed. More work in the afternoon and evening, combined with strategically-timed outings, and I got through about half of the backlog I’ve been working on around the house. Today should get me nearly caught up, though I’m sure I’ll think of more things that need doing before the Saints get home on Friday for a weekend home-stand. And tomorrow, I’ll start in with the pictures from San Francisco itself. I’ll probably continue to trickle them out over the rest of the week and maybe even into next week.

20. June, 2005 - disappointing
Holman Field and Downtown St. Paul
Holman Field & Downtown St. Paul

I spent this weekend disappointing people. Friday, I was supposed to stop by the local watering hole to talk to a gal. I’d said repeatedly that I probably needed to stay around home over the weekend to get stuff done, but she was adamant and I eventually muttered that I would try to swing by. Saturday, there were two parties. I went to neither. Sunday I was supposed to work on a bunch of things around the house. Instead I spent the day laying around the house, gushing sweat from every pore on my body until I realized that I should probably set up the second air conditioner so the house would cool off enough that I could think clearly.

Lake Minnetonka
Lake Minnetonka

Today? Lots and lots to be done, and I’m starting the triage already. Some things just can’t be put off any longer, and others can probably slide for another day or two. I think I’ve figured out which is which. One of the things I will get done is starting to point you at pictures from my trip to San Francisco. After all, it was two weeks ago, and even if I’d used film, I’d have them back by now. I’ll start with the set taken from the airplane. I had a window seat and blatantly ignored the no electronic devices directive and happily took pictures with my digital camera as we flew. These first two are local to Minnesota, and require almost no explanation beyond their captions.

18. June, 2005 - a picture

It’s Saturday, and I’m continuing to try and catch up on things around home, without too much success. But I pulled the photos off my camera and have started categorizing them. And the one that didn’t fit as part of my WWDC trip to San Francisco is from last Saturday, of Scott, before the main festivities of PeTA day. Rather than wait any longer on this picture, I figured it’s time to get it posted. Hopefully you’ll see the pictures from out west start to trickle in on Monday, since the only real holdup at this point is me trying to decide which of the various shots of stuff are the good ones and then writing captions for ’em.

And that’s about it for today. Hope you’re having a swell weekend.

17. June, 2005 - quick links

I’m running late this morning, so I’m just going to toss out a few links and that’s it. More over the weekend perhaps.

16. June, 2005 - a chance to catch up?

The Saints are done with the home stand, and I’ll have one less thing to occupy my time for the next week or so. Is this a chance for me to catch up? Probably not. I’ve got enough of a list of things that need doing that it’s seeming insurmountable, and new stuff that has to be dealt with right now keeps popping up. Which means that when I do get a few minutes, I’ve been just collapsing, rather than trying to tackle the backlog.

But perhaps I’ll actually wake up one of these mornings feeling like I’ve had enough sleep and will be rarin’ to get stuff done. I think the important ingredient is going to be sleep.

15. June, 2005 - long night

Eightteen and a half innings of baseball last night. The Saints ended up winning both games, and I have more comments below. But I was at the ballpark until after midnight, and that’s got me running late again. Guess that’s my lot in life this week.

14. June, 2005 - falling behind

It’s not so much that I’ve got a ton of pressing stuff to do as the fact that the things I have to do seem to be taking much longer than I’d like. Simple tasks turn into an hour spent on the phone trying to resolve something that should have taken five minutes.

On a good note, I got the lawn mowed yesterday. Entirely within my control, and I didn’t have to wait for anyone else, and it went nice and quickly. Ditto for catching up on laundry. My clothes are almost all clean again and that makes me strangely happy. Still need to make that trip to the grocery store to refill the fridge, but that might fit in with other errands today.

Vacation pictures are going to have to wait at least one more day, perhaps two, though. I thought I was going to catch a break when the game got rained out last night, but then as I was starting to sort the pictures, the phone rang… When I finally hung up, I wanted nothing more than to go to bed.

13. June, 2005 - getting there

Home again, and I’ve almost finished plowing through the email from last week. I was answering some while I was at the conference, but that still left a lot to look at this morning. Then there’s a lot of stuff to catch up on around the house and Saints games over the weekend and the next few evenings. In other words, another busy week. But I don’t think I’d have it any other way.

Pictures from San Francisco will start to trickle in soon, but not today. Sorry about that. Just too many other things that need doing before I get to that. Heck, I haven’t even finished recharging the camera yet. But one of the other developments during this trip is that I spent almost no time reading the news, since the wireless connection at the conference was so overloaded almost all the time. And I ended up feeling a lot better at the end of the week. I’m not sure what that’s going to mean around here, but as I was plowing through my regular morning reading this morning, I thought about that, and may adjust things a bit.

9. June, 2005 - busy days

Well, after two days during which few of the sessions held my interest, I’m now in the part of the conference where I’ve got sessions piled one atop another. I spent the “slow” days of Tuesday and Wednesday mostly talking to people in the halls, and it sounds like there may be some work heading my way, which is a positive development.

Today and tomorrow, I’m seeing a lot of the sessions I came to the conference for, and there’s lots that I need to get moved into my brain. Interesting stuff, but a lot to absorb, without a lot of time to digest in between. But I haven’t been looking around the web for stuff to link to at all during the conference, and don’t see much of that happening from here out. Next week, perhaps, eh? As for tomorrow, maybe I’ll have something for you, or maybe my brain will be jammmed full of new information and I won’t have much to say.

7. June, 2005 - more conference

Not much today. The big news at the conference was yesterday, and today people just seem to be processing the information. Plus the network here has been spotty enough that I haven't had a chance to surf for a lot of links. Perhaps more tomorrow? I hope so.

6. June 2005 - It’s true

Well, it’s been an interesting day. As mentioned above, Apple has officially announced a long-term switch to Intel CPUs. This doesn’t mean that Mac OS is going to start running on commodity Wintel hardware, though. It means that the CPU in Macs will be changing, and developers will have to do some extra work, but for the end-user, the change shouldn’t be a big deal.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of speculation running around the show. People keep wondering when you’ll be able to run XP on these upcoming (late 2006 they’ll start to ship) machines. I don’t think that’s going to be a priority for Apple right now, but I do think it’ll happen eventually. As for a drop-off in Mac sales, I think the stock market reacted pretty appropriately today. Apple was up briefly after the announcement, but then fell back to down a few pennies by market close. I think Apple’s sales will be hurt a little by the switch to Intel, since some people will hold off for the new machines. But Apple is in an excellent position to weather this sort of blip in their sales. They’re sitting on a ton of cash, and there are plenty of people who are still going to end up buying new G5s sometime in the next eightteen months. It’ll change my hardware purchase strategy a bit, but only because I’ll probably have to buy one of Apple’s Intel development machines, which I wasn’t planning on doing. Hrm.

On a personal note, I’ve talked to dozens of different people today, and if you’re here at the conference and haven’t managed to catch my attention, it’s not because I’m ignoring you, but rather because I’ve been feeling a little overloaded already. I expect that will get a little better tomorrow and the next few days, but today’s the first day and everyone’s saying hello.

In a final note, Apple’s changed the schedule for “stump” from Tuesday to Wednesday. That’s a bit annoying, but actually worked well, since I now have a chance to talk with some folks I need to work with tomorrow evening. More work is good.

Speaking of new work, this change looks like it might not be too bad for me. There are going to be some companies who will need help getting their applications ported to XCode. It’s not great work, and I’m not hoping to spend all my time fixing projects, but while these companies are doing that, I’m hoping I’ll be able to pick up a little extra work. But that’s been my philosophy for a few years. Every change Apple makes means an opportunity for me to pick up some extra work, and this year seems to be no different.

Well, that’s probably enough for now. Seeya tomorrow sometime, and sorry for the disorganization. My brain’s had a lot to process today.

5. June, 2005 - SF

As you may have guessed, if you noticed that Apple’s WWDC is this week, I’m in San Francisco. It’s been a fun weekend. I flew out on Friday, and basically piddled around on Friday. I did a little shopping for a few things I had forgotten to bring with, and then spent the evening watching the tube, since I didn’t really have much energy left, what with two hours of time-shift, and basically concentrated on staying awake until 10pm pacific time, which felt like midnight to me. Well past my usual bedtime.

Saturday was a day of solo touristing. Rather than go see the typical sights, I mostly wandered around, just looking at things I’ve seen before with new eyes. There are many pictures in my camera, but due to bad planning, I didn’t bring along the cable, so you won’t get to see those until after I’ve gotten home. I put on a lot of miles, walking to Chinatown and back in the morning (from Market to Broadway for those of you for whom that means anything) and then after lunch and a nap, I walked down Market from Powell to the Embarcadero, south a bit for some pictures of the Bay Bridge, then all the way north to Fisherman’s Wharf. The line for the cablecar back to my hotel was over an hour long, so I dropped five bucks for a ride in a limo (and since I was solo, I rode up front with the driver, talking with him as he fought through traffic) back to Union Square. There are a ton of details I’m leaving out here, but I’ll fill those in when I have some of the pictures that go with them.

Sunday, I spent the morning lolligagging around. Still tired from all the walking on Saturday, and I didn't really feel like trying to do any toursity things on a Sunday morning. My friends Scott & Michelle, and their daughters came up and met me for lunch, and then we went on the Red & White Golden Gate Cruise for an hour. It was a fun trip, even if the swells were too big for us to actually get outside the Golden Gate, and everyone enjoyed it. Scott had brought along an extra fleece for me, which was much appreciated. It was windy out on the water. When that was done, we wandered the Fishermen's Wharf area for a while, then had dinner and called it a day.

Tomorrow morning, WWDC starts. I’m posting this on Sunday evening, and will probably continue doing my posts in the evening while I'm out of town. Any news from the conference will have to wait until tomorrow afternoon or evening. Seeya then.

3. June, 2005 - two weeks in
Aaron on opening day
Aaron on opening day

Here it is, two full weeks since opening day of the Saints season. And I finally got around to pulling in the pictures from that night. Since Aaron expressed interest in seeing his picture here, I guess I’d better post it. The other pictures from the evening? Meh. There’s some UPS trucks delivering the players, and an out-of-focus Seigo defending a hockey goal with boxing gloves. Out of focus because my camera decided that the net had to be in sharp focus, rather than what was behind it. I think I need to rethink photography at games, since even I’m bored with most of the pictures I take at the ballpark. Maybe I’ll have something figured out by the time the Saints get home next week.

Yesterday was warm. Warm enough that I was glad I started mowing the lawn before 10 am. Warm enough that I actually put the air conditioner in my bedroom window for the summer. I had three loads of laundry to fold, and the effort of folding T-shirts was causing me to break out in a sweat, so I figured it was time for some chilled air. I slept pretty well with it on last night, too. The power-saver mode is a bit annoying, since it either runs the A/C full on or not at all, and the cycling of the fan woke me up once or twice, but I slept better than if I’d been searching for a cool spot in the sheets all night. Of such excitement is my life made.

2. June, 2005 - stumbling into summer

I’m not sure exactly why, but yesterday felt like the first day of summer, rather than the extended spring we’ve had so far. Maybe part of it was getting out and weeding the garden for the first time this year. Maybe part of it was the humidity, which made it feel a lot warmer than the 75 degrees it actually was out there. Maybe part of it was enough sunshine hitting my house that I pondered setting up the air conditioning. Like I said, I’m not sure exactly what it was, but it felt like summer.

And that’s got me feeling like I’m under the gun. There are many more things I wanted to get done before summer hit. I wanted to have enough miles on my trike by this point that I was feeling more fit. I wanted a clear schedule for the home improvements that are going to happen this year. I could go on, but I’m left with the feeling that between the early warmth, followed by the cool and damp, I’ve piddled away the spring.

1. June, 2005 - new month, same stuff

I had today pretty well mapped out when I went to bed last night. Then two things interfered. First, I stayed up reading a new book I bought yesterday (should I update the booktag posting for that? I think not), and then got a phone call this morning telling me I need to drive up to mom’s to hand over the keys I’ve been holding for the past three months, waiting for someone to ask for them. I’m glad to get that done, but today isn’t the ideal day to take a couple hours of out my day. But getting clear of that obligation is important enough that I’ll find a way to do it, mostly by short-changing you. telling me I don’t have to do any of that, after all.

Yesterday? Beautiful. Sunshiney. The kind of day we put up with Minnesota summer and winter just so we can enjoy a handful of days like yesterday.

Last Month
Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:59:08.