July 2005

29. July, 2005 - now, with real links

Sorry about the past two days of nothingness, but I really didn’t have anything much to say. Today, it’s not so much that I’m in a better mood as I’m trying to use this as a way to break the funk a bit. Dunno if it’ll work, but at least there are some links for you to click on.

As for a longer explanation from me… well, maybe I’ll write something over the weekend and maybe I won’t. In a perfect world, I think I’d use this weekend as a sort of mini-vacation to break up my routine, but I’m not sure whether I’ll do that or just sit at home.

28. July, 2005 - two in a row

Nothing again today. Kind of in a funk, I guess.

27. July, 2005 - virtual monday

Yesterday went as planned. Plenty of sunshine while watching the Saints split a double-header, followed by a lazy evening. Except for the part where I mowed the lawn after getting home from the games. It was a good day, but today feels like Monday, and I think this is all you’re going to get today. Seeya tomorrow.

26. July, 2005 - cooler!

So we got rained out of the Saints game last night (at least the Saints didn’t lose!), but the storm that provided the rain also brought much cooler temperatures. Highs in the 70s instead of in the 90s are a very happy thing. Of course the rain-out means two games today, and as I didn’t remember until late yesterday afternoon, today’s game is scheduled as a day game. So I’m expecting that for tomorrow’s update, I’ll probably have received far too much sunshine and will be feeling pleasantly cooked.

On the work front, I spent yesterday promising a client some web-work, figuring that I had a designer lined up to help with the work. Well, the designer backed out, and I’m now looking for some help. If you’ve got the graphic-design chops to put together a new logo from a pretty darned sketchy client description, maybe you should drop me a note. Thanks!

25. July, 2005 - quiet weekend

The weekend was pretty quiet. I went out on Friday night and had some fun. Woke up on Saturday and bopped up to mom’s to take her and her roommate (whose birthday was this weekend) out for lunch and some shopping, and then laid around home watching movies. Sunday, I mixed it up between reading and watching movies, but generally just laid low. Nothing exciting at all.

And that was the perfect weekend. This week is going to be another busy one. Last week, I had something scheduled for every day of the week, and this week is looking similar. Plus the Saints are back in town after the all-star break for a four-game stand this week, so my evenings will be busy.

22. July, 2005 - gak

The subject pretty much sums up yesterday. I had big plans for getting stuff done, and while I managed to keep all my appointments, I was thwarted in just about everything else. It started with a threatening letter in the mail from the State of Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance division of the Department of Employment and Economic Development. Apparently, I needed to sign up for their new system, even though I do none of my own unemployment insurance handling. I hired Paychex to do that, and for the past six and a half years, they’ve been doing a good job of isolating me from nonsense from the state. Apparently that’s an unacceptable situation, since if I didn’t “activate” my account, Minnesota would stop accepting payroll information from them, making me non-compliant. And the beauty of this is that they needed my State of Minnesota Unemployment Insurance ID, a number which I handed off to Paychex when it was first assigned to my company, and haven’t thought of since. And no, they couldn’t use my State of Minnesota Revenue ID (used for sales tax and payroll withholding) or my Federal Employer ID, even though their database already has both of those and it’s all cross-referenced. But no, somehow this magical third ID number provides extra security, or so I’m told.

And people wonder why I hate dealing with government. What should have been a simple matter of faxing the form off ended up eating my entire morning. As John Marshall said: The power to tax is the power to destroy. Well, at least I won’t have to pay as much in taxes this month, since I didn’t make any money yesterday.

The afternoon? Not a whole lot better. I have work to do for two clients, due Really Darned Soon. But I’m missing critical bits of information from those clients, and can’t start until I get that information. In both cases, I was promised that I would receive these missing pieces on Wednesday. Still haven’t seen ’em this morning, so I’m going to be late in delivering things to those clients.

It makes me wonder why I bother running a business at all. After a day like yesterday, I find myself thinking that if there was any way to move into the black market without getting thrown under the jail, I’d be all over it, but I don’t think that’s possible today. It may be time to start working on the Taoist approach, though: Whenever there is attachment there is bondage.

21. July, 2005 - unrest in the trees

This morning, the tree guy stopped by to give me an estimate on cleaning up my trees. They don’t need major work, just need to be trimmed so they’re not rubbing on my house or the neighbor’s. Only $450 for a dozen trees. That ain’t bad at all, I’m figuring. Yeah, it’ll probably take them a half-hour or so, but it’s the kind of thing that would take me all day, the trees would look kinda crummy when I was done, and I’d have a huge pile of branches laying there until I got around to hauling them away. The thing that gets me is that it wasn’t even a year ago when I last did this, but I’m hoping that maybe with a pro coming in to clean up the trees, I’ll be able to learn some trick so I can do a better job next time. Anyway, I’m probably going to pull the trigger later today and schedule the appointment.

Today looks like a busy day, too. Got a couple more appointments I have to keep today, plus I need to get some work done. While I wasn’t happy when the tree guy showed up almost a half-hour early (just as I was finishing my morning ablutions), it seems to have worked out pretty well, since I’m getting this ready for you, and getting started on work at just about the right time, better than if I’d actually planned it.

20. July, 2005 - gully-washer

Yesterday, I spent most of the evening watering various sections of my lawn and garden that were dried out from the lack of rain around here. Almost as if I’d planned it, we got hit by a thunderstorm this morning (about 5:30) which gave most of the ground more water than it could handle. Except for the areas I’d watered yesterday, where the lawn had gone from feeling like astroturf on concrete to actually feeling like something living again. Those areas were able to absorb most of the pounding rain this morning, while the areas that didn’t get watered mostly shed the rain. Judging by the size of the river in my alley, most of my neighbors lawns had the rain run off them, too.

Beyond that, it warmed up enough again yesterday that the air-conditioning is running again, and probably will be for the forseeable future. Forecast highs are in the high 80s or 90s again through the weekend, and that’s just too warm for either me or my computer to be comfortable. But on the plus side, I got enough sleep last night, even with the thunderstorm waking me up at 5:30 this morning, that I have stuff for you to read.

19. July, 2005 - open windows

I feel better today. The heat finally broke for real, and I shut off the air conditioners yesterday evening and slept last night with all the windows open. The only problem was the motorcycle that went zooming down the alley at 4:30 this morning, waking me up. Grr.

I suspect that’s why I had trouble finding many links worth linking. There just weren’t that many things that I found interesting enough to link to when I was feeling cranky from not getting enough sleep.

18. July, 2005 - cooler

Made it through the weekend. It wasn’t a high-energy affair, since I was still feeling oppressed by the heat. Over the weekend, the Saints lost two of three to a Sioux Falls team that finished the first half of the season in the cellar with a 17 and 29 record. About the only good news is that the highs this week are only supposed to be in the 80s, which will be a welcome break. It might even get cool enough that I can shut off the air-conditioners and open the windows this evening. That would be a welcome change.

This week looks like another busy one. There are things to be done around the house once it’s cool enough to step outside without immediately starting to sweat, and I need to spend some more time figuring out what I’m going to do for work for the rest of the summer. Should keep me busy while the Saints are off for the all-star break and then out of town next weekend.

15. July, 2005 - Poland on the Prairie
St. John Cantius
St. John Cantius

Today it’s time to finally catch up on the pictures I took on the Sioux Falls road trip. As I mentioned earlier, on Saturday, July 2, I took some time in the day and drove up to Wilno, MN. When I first got there, I spent a minute or two looking for my great-uncle Frank’s old house, to no avail. I haven’t been there in about thirty years, and nothing looked familiar except the church. So I stopped at the building next to the church (built where the CCD center used to be, I think), where a few guys were loading folding tables onto a trailer, and asked. Turns out that sometime after Uncle Frank died in 1994, the house was torn down. It had fallen apart, and I don’t think Aunt Julia continued living there until her death in 2000, but I’m not sure. Another story I need to track down. In any case, where the house had formerly stood was now part of the parking lot for the church, which is the real star of the town.

St. John Cantius Interior
St. John Cantius Interior

Wilno (yes, named after the one in Lithuania) is basically a little settlement consisting two or three city blocks. There’s nothing there anymore but the church, a storage building next to the church, and some houses. That’s it. The last post office in town was in Uncle Frank’s house, and that had been closed for at least fifty years. So when I say the church is the star of the town, I’m not exaggerating. It’s over 120 years old, and folks are justifiably proud of it. The other thing about Wilno is that it’s built in something of a hollow. From the county road that runs past the cemetary to the north of town, all you see are the tree-tops. There was a time when you might have seen the spires of the church, but they were truncated in 1959 because it was too expensive to maintain the old 125 foot tall spires, and at least one parishoner had fallen to his death while working on them. Currently the project is repairing or replacing a beam inside the church roof which had cracked. That’s the scaffolding you can see in the interior photo. It sounds like everything is well in hand, but the work is taking longer than expected.

St. John Cantius
St. John Cantius

The encouraging thing is that this isn’t a dying church. Between St. John Cantius, and the church in nearby Ivanhoe (which share a priest), they have a combined congregation of twelve hundred, with Wilno getting the (slightly) bigger half. Ivanhoe has a population of around 640, and Wilno’s population isn’t listed anywhere I can find it, since it’s not technically a city anymore, but not only is the church still there, but they seem to be doing well, in one of the poorest counties in the state. The thing I need to remember is that they still have their big church picnic at noon on the fourth of July every year, and if I want to talk to more folks from around there, that’s the time to do it.

There’s a lot more to write about Wilno, but it’s going to have to wait for another day. I’ll try to remember to put a link here when I get that writing done.

14. July, 2005 - sporadic

Yep. I missed updating yesterday. Sorry if you missed me, but it was another one of those days where I figured If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

More to the point, I’ve been feeling worn down by the long string of days with temperatures over 90 degrees out there. I’ve got a lot of things I want to do outside, but I have to take them slowly, since I get overheated and stupid if I stay out there too long working. Which wears me down, because I’m not getting the little satisfactions that come from finishing the projects I start. Add in the fact that I think I’ve got a summertime cold, and I end up with days like yesterday, where my big accomplishment for the day was … Well, I can’t think of one.

12. July, 2005 - road trip pictures

Sorry I don’t have much in the way of links for you today. It’s another one of those days.

11. July, 2005 - Saints win first half

A long, hot weekend. Temperatures in the 90s (mid-30s C), with high humidity. I got up early Saturday morning and mowed the lawn. Glad I did, since it was only in the mid-80s at that point. Friday and Saturday evenings were spent watching the Saints, and Sunday I stayed home in the air conditioning and caught up on sleep.

8. July, 2005 - day off

Nothing to say today. I’m doing fine, just taking a break.

7. July, 2005 - still tired

I’m really ready for a weekend, but the week is barely half over at this point. As such, linkage suffers today. Maybe more tomorrow?

6. July, 2005 - tired

Not a whole lot to say this morning. I spent yesterday trying in vain to catch up on things, and while I did get a few things done, I’m feeling like I’m farther behind, anyhow. Today, woke up with a stuffed nose. Not sure whether it’s allergies or if I caught the cold that a friend has, but either way, it’s sapping my energy. Hope your week is more energetic than mine.

5. July, 2005 - back to it

Tough getting started this morning. I was up late for the Saints fireworks last night. And that was following a road-trip to Sioux Falls to watch the Saints play there on Friday and Saturday nights. Thanks to John for helping us get organized down there, and showing us a good time. I also popped up to Wilno on Saturday to see the area where the Polaschek family first settled in Minnesota.

As usual, I’ve got a bunch of pictures still in the camera. I’m going to try and get to them today, but (also as usual) I’ve got a bunch of stuff to do today, and it’ll probably take me a while to sort through them all. You’ll see them as soon as I can get to them.

Finally, I survived the fourth and still have all my fingers to type this with. A good time was had. And I think that’s going to do it for my morning ramble today. Let’s get to some links, eh?

1. July, 2005 - nice weekend?

It appears to be shaping up as one. In spite of the amount of stuff I had to do yesterday, I found time to mow the lawn and weed part of my garden yesterday morning. I wasn’t sure if the cool weather would last or not, and figured it was better to get things done. I was right, but not for the reason I thought. It just made me feel better. But the forecasts are looking pretty good for the weekend. Sure, there might be some rain on Saturday and Sunday, but that’s not a huge deal. The temperatures will be pretty reasonable, and that’s a nice break at this point.

As for the long list of things, well, I managed to get some work done, renew my tabs on my truck, renew my driver’s license, pick up a repaired (mostly) chair, and get some more work done. There are things left that I probably won’t get to this week, but I think I did a decent job of covering the most critical stuff. I plan to enjoy the weekend, and hope you will, too.

Last Month
Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:59:16.