October 2005 full listing

31. October, 2005 - boo

Another weekend come and gone. Friday, my new fridge got delivered. I spent a couple hours shuffling everything out of the old fridge and into the “beer fridge” in the basement, and then shuffling most things back, including the beer. Later in the day, I uploaded some photos to flickr, and added them to some appropriate groups.

On Saturday, I went out to the Burnsville Pistol Range with a friend. I was itching to get some trigger-time in, and he hadn’t shot in years, so I talked him into going out. Put some rounds through my .22 rifle, and I find that I’m pretty happy with it. I’m steady enough with it that I’m pretty sure I could pot tree-rats out to 25 yards, which isn’t great, but pleasing enough for the first time shooting it. But it was after I had pulled out the pistol, and we had basically shot all we wanted to that I had the most fun experience of the afternoon.

In the lane next to us was a guy teaching his girlfriend how to shoot. He’d brought along what were basically hand-cannons (the smallest looked like a .38 Special or .357 revolver), and she was flinching, scattering shots all over, and looked like she was getting discouraged. I got their attention and offered to let them run a few rounds through my .22 pistol. It was my first day out with the new red-dot sight on it, and both of them liked how that worked once I explained how you had to hold high at short distances.

In the gal’s first magazine of ten rounds, she kept all ten shots in the black on the target, and had put three shots into a dime-sized area in the bullseye (at fifty feet). She was positively beaming and I’d like to think I turned her somewhat discouraging first time shooting into a positive experience. If nothing else, the huge smile when she got her first bullseye was worth tons more than the dollar’s worth of ammunition they shot while trying my pistol.

We finished off the day with stops at Northern Brewer, the Dubliner and Town Hall. Turns out it was a night with new beer releases at Town Hall, so we hung out and drank for a while. Our waitress forgot to put in our dinner order right away, so it was a good thing we weren’t in a hurry. It was a pretty darned good day though. The weather was nice, and it was good to get out of the house and do some fun stuff.

When I finally got home, I emptied out the small freezer in my kitchen, shuffling all that food down to the freezer in the basement, and unplugged the small freezer so it could defrost. Scrubbed it out and such, and let it air-dry overnight. Today I’ll finish scrubbing the outside of it and refill it, and then shut down the basement fridge until next baseball season when I need the extra storage for beer and tailgating supplies.

Sunday was a pretty low-energy day, and the weather was coöperating beautifully. Instead of Saturday’s pretty skies and warm weather, sunday was drizzly and gloomy. I never actually saw any rain falling, but things were wet and gray every time I looked outside. I made a brief run to Target for some necessities and napped a lot. That was about the extent of the day. It didn’t help that I forgot to change the clock on the programmable thermostat before going to bed on Saturday, which meant that at 5am, the furnace kicked in to warm the house up, and woke me up. Oops.

There wasn’t too much of a problem with noise over the weekend. There were a few groups of people walking past on Saturday night, but they were pretty well-behaved. I think the fact that Halloween is today kept at least a few people in check, since there were four evenings (counting tonight) to dress up like an idiot and get beerlarious and not everyone picked the same night. And hey, I’ve got candy on hand just in case someone stops by. I’ll probably even get the pumpkin set up in the window before it gets dark out.

28. October, 2005 - spooky?

Halloween weekend begins tonight. I suppose I should pull my pumpkin out of storage today and set it up in the window, but… “meh” Maybe part of it is that I haven’t been out much in the evenings and don’t really plan to get out this weekend. I guess I could head out with the camera and take pictures of gals wearing whiskers, but the holiday just isn’t winding my watch this year. Heck, I haven’t even bought any insurance candy like I did last year. I suppose I’ll pick something up before Monday, but at this point I’m mostly wondering how noisy it’ll get tonight and tomorrow night as folks wander the neighborhood in search of beer. I’m pretty sure I’m feeling like an old fogey.

not just a bird feeder
not just a bird feeder

I forgot to mention that I hung up the bird feeders on Wednesday. It’s time to get the critters used to finding food here before winter hits. While I was out running around Wednesday afternoon, I scored a hanger from a local hardware store. It was something they bought as a display for a home show, and has been rattling around for a while with a price-tag of $38.95 on it. I offered $20, and now it’s holding up a bird feeder. But because I mounted it on the little shed next to the garage, the feeder is only about a half-meter off the ground, which makes it an easy hop for the squirrels. You can’t see the hanger in the picture I took, but I’ve decided the little shed that’s attached to my garage does nothing but annoy me anyhow, so I’m probably going to tear it down next spring, at which point I’ll mount the hanger on the garage, and all will be well (and the squirrels will have to work a little harder for their breakfast).

27. October, 2005 - bit by bit

Didn’t get my walk by the river yesterday. The overcast lightened, but the day never really seemed as nice as I’d been hoping. Instead, I went shopping again, and bought a new fridge for my kitchen. It should be delivered tomorrow. I went with a fridge-only model, which is probably bigger than I need, but since I already have a compact freezer in the kitchen, it seems like the better plan. And not having a freezer in it means it’s both more energy efficient, and a little smaller. That means that when I decide to upgrade the stove, I’ll have room for a slightly bigger stove, which seems like a pretty good tradeoff to me.

I spent some of the afternoon going through the exisiting fridge and cleaning. Tossed out a bunch of condiments that were either nearly empty or had been sitting there aging and never getting used. I’ll just have a few things left to remove from the fridge tomorrow morning to get ready for the delivery. Between slowly upgrading things in the kitchen, and getting ever-closer to finishing up my bedroom, I feel like I’ve been making real solid progress on whipping the house into shape, and that makes me happy. There’s still a lot to be done, but every little bit of forward movement helps.

In the evening, I had dinner with Pete and Beth over at the Sporty. Good to see them again, and it was good to both get out to the bar, and (for once) get home from the bar at a reasonable hour.

26. October, 2005 - midweek

Did I leave the house during the beautiful fall weather yesterday? Yes, but only briefly. Went outside to take out the trash and see if there was anything that needed doing in the yard, but I’m in pretty good shape for winter. I just need to mow the lawn one more time once the trees have dropped their leaves, but that hasn’t happened yet. I also talked with the neighbor for a while before coming in for the evening and puttering around the house. Finished up a few little jobs inside and that was the day.

My friend who’s studying interior design was maybe going to stop by yesterday, but didn’t. Turns out there was pressing homework to be done. Ah well, later in the week. Such excitement in my life at the moment! Today looks pretty good. A call from the payroll people this morning, and then if the sky clears from its currently overcast state, I think I might take a walk down by the river. It’s about the right time for it to be pretty down there, and I need to get out more.

25. October, 2005 - plugging along

The big event yesterday was taking in lamps for repair. Three different places have parts of one of the lamps I got from mom. One to fix the wiring, one to make some new glass panels for the shade (they’re curved, and so very tricky to replicate) and one to fix the metal parts of the shade. Total cost for the repairs on that will probably be more than the lamp is worth, even by the most optimistic appraisal, but it’s one that’s been in my family for longer than I have, and I was feeling sentimental. With any luck, I’ll have it back by Christmas.

It surprised me a bit, though. I had been half-heartedly searching for places that do repair on lamps, mostly figuring that it was a small market at best, and there would probably be only one or two places in town that would do the work, since most folks would throw away a lamp that was going to need hundreds of dollars in repairs. Turns out I was mostly correct, and the secret was contacting the folks at Lightworks. They turned me on to Gaytee Stained Glass, who are pretty much the only folks in town who will craft new bent-glass. And the guy at Gaytee pointed me to Brinkman’s, who will fix the old metal, including manufacturing new pieces to replace some that have been lost for over twenty years. I mention it here because at some point, someone else in the Twin Cities will have a lamp they want fixed for sentimental reasons, and this might help google point them in the right direction.

24. October, 2005 - ten teams
bedroom lamp
“new” bedroom lamp

Another weekend come and gone. Friday wasn’t very exciting. The highlight of the day was a phone-call I’d been expecting, in which the main message was that there would be more phone-calls this week. Saturday was a trip up to mom’s, and I finally saw some nice colors in the trees. I even had the camera with, but was running late, so I figured I’d take pictures on the way home. When I headed back, it had clouded up and all the colors were muted, so no pictures. Sunday I slept late, and then did some shopping. Found a couple lamps for my bedroom, which made me happy. It doesn’t show especially well in the photo on the right, but they’ve got a cool glass thing beneath the shade that glows when the light is lit up. It’s also hard to tell the color, but they’re dark green, not black. The finish is pretty dinged up, so I might refinish them. The same store may have a couple dressers that I like, but that’ll be another phone-call sometime this week.

In other “around the house” news, I’m hoping to get a call today from the sidewalk guy, telling me whether he’ll be able to get my new sidewalk done this year or not. If not, I’ll probably spend some time calling around looking for someone else. I’m also planning to call up Lightworks and see what they’d charge to repair a couple lamps I got from mom. One just needs rewiring, but the other has a glass shade, and one of the panels is broken. I don’t expect that to be a cheap or easy repair. And they may be able to help me get converters from the mogul base to the more standard medium base in those lamps I bought yesterday. And sometime this week, my friend who’s studying interior design is going to stop by to help with ideas for finishing up the bedroom (I still need furniture). It’ll be interesting to see what she thinks of the stuff I’ve already done.

21. October, 2005 - the last nice day

I keep hearing the weather guys on TV (yes, there’s a local weather-gal, but I find her so cloyingly cutesy that I start feeling like I need insulin every time I watch her, so I don’t) telling me how this is going to be the last nice day this year, and we’re going to descend into frigid Minnesota winter anytime now. Well, this has been going on for a couple weeks, and I’m tired of it. Heck, I still haven’t had any frost on the ground here at my house yet, and the grass is still growing enough that I might have to mow it one more time before the final “clean up the leaves” mowing of the year. I’m just hoping I don’t have to buy more gas for the lawnmower at this point.

Nonetheless, I’ve been preparing to “hunker down” for the winter. I should be able to pick up the meat I ordered on Tuesday today, and also the trainer for my trike that I ordered on wednesday. I took the summer’s chicken carcasses and turned them into a little more than a gallon of chicken stock last night, and that’s getting divided into servings and going into the freezer today (after I filter it and skim the fat). I normally enjoy cooking, but for some reason hearing the hiss of the jiggler on the pressure-cooker last night was especially gratifying.

And that’s been the theme of the week, I think. There have been a number of things up in the air around here all summer. Projects got started and never finished, and I’ve been trying to actually finish some things this week. Not everything is going as well as I’d like, but I’ve checked off a whole bunch of the things I wanted to get done “before the snow flies” and that feels pretty good. Even with the early start of bourbon season two weeks ago, things are moving along nicely, and I’m in a pretty good mood at the moment. Plus I’ve got a bunch of links for you today. Maybe that makes up for the light day yesterday, eh?

20. October, 2005 - blah blah blah

Not much to say today, which would usually means that I’d spend a half-dozen paragraphs saying almost nothing at all. But nope, not today.

19. October, 2005 - time to hunker down?

Yesterday, almost 80, sunshiney and beautiful. This morning, much cooler, dreary and gray. Makes me glad I took some time yesterday to start really getting ready for winter, when I’ll want to have plenty of food at home so I don’t have to venture out. I cleaned out the big chest freezer (it’s been empty since June, but was a little gunky and needed a wash) and plugged it back in. And ordered a quarter of a cow and a half of a pig from the butcher. Should be ready on Friday or Saturday. Today I’m hoping to empty the little freezer and the one in the bottom of the fridge so I can defrost those soon and get them back into the regular “food I’m going to eat soon” rotation.

I don’t think I’m going to get many interesting pictures of foliage this year. The trees seem to be dropping their leaves about the time the colors start to get good. One of the TV weather guys said it was because we haven’t have a hard frost yet. Whatever the reason, I just haven’t seen the burst of colors I’ve been hoping for. The trees are either still green and holding onto their leaves, or brown, or bare. Maybe next year.

18. October, 2005 - local news and pictures

Went to the lighting of the Stone Arch Bridge last night. In spite of it supposedly starting at 6pm, when I got there a couple minutes to six, the lead singer from Desiradi said something like Woohoo! Now we’ve got an audience! When they started playing, there were a few of us milling around down by the band, and no sign of anyone else. Turns out, all the bigwigs were in the Mill City Museum.

Holidazzle Gone Wrong
Holidazzle Gone Wrong

About seven, after Desiradi had finished, the important ones trooped out as Savage Aural Hotbed were setting up. Sometime around 7:20 various of the bigwigs came onto the stage and told us about how swell this all was, with RT finishing off with a campaign speech, telling us how important the bridge and the riverfront were to Minneapolis (completely forgetting the early 80s, apparently) and talking about hos Washington Boulevard is going to be the next big project. Whatever. Then the lights, with a two minute song as RT encouraged people to close their eyes and only open them when the song was done so they didn’t see the lights gradually coming up.

The Unlit Bridge
The Unlit Bridge

By the time I got home, I was dead. My ankle and knees had strong opinions about all the walking around I’d done, and were expressing them quite forcefully to my brain. I’d also forgotten to eat dinner before heading out, so there was another body-part complaining, too. I ate, and basically collapsed, which is why I don’t get a chance to edit the pictures more carefully. Sorry about that. Given that all of the local TV stations were there, and most ran stories in the evening news, I’m kind of surprised I couldn’t find links to any of the stories online this morning, either. Maybe someone who has more patience than I do can dig them out of the poorly organized sites. You know where to send the links, right?

Rt flips the switch
RT flips the switch

But hey, Aaron was there, and I got to talk to him for a while. He came up with the words that make the caption on the picture of Savage Aural Hotbed, and it made me laugh. While I wasn’t happy that most of the bigwigs didn’t step outside to listen to the bands, and felt especially bad for Desiradi, both because I couldn’t remember their name and they played most of their set to a little more than a dozen people, it was a pretty good evening. The weather was beautiful, and the full moon rising over the steam plant made it pretty damned picturesque. And while my lower extremities are hurting today, I think it was worth it.

The Lit Bridge
The Lit Bridge

One final note on the pictures. I had my camera cranked up to 1600 ASA for most of them, so you’ll see a fair amount of sensor noise in the full-size versions. Maybe I could have done better with a tripod and long exposures, but I was comforted by the fact that I finally have a digital camera that behaves like film cameras I learned on did. It’s comforting when things behave as I expect them to, and previous cameras I’ve had never quite did. I took over fifty photos, playing with a bunch of features of my camera, and trying not to shake too much. I’ll probably get around to posting more of them later, and probably a better picture of the lit bridge when I head down there with a tripod some night, but I figure that I hit ten percent that I liked well enough to post today, which isn’t a bad average at all, considering that I was bracketing from “dead-on” to four full stops underexposed in many cases.

17. October, 2005 - ouch

Friday evening, there was the Auto Body Experience show. Good show, but on the way there, I tripped in a pothole in the street in front of Lee’s, and twisted my left ankle. It didn’t hurt too much at the time, but my right knee, hand, elbow, and shoulder were sore from the hard landing on the pavement that resulted (and the scramble to get out of the street before a car came along). I got through the show without too much pain (beer is helpful that way, it seems), and called it a night.

Saturday and Sunday, I mostly stayed home and nursed my wounds. No trip to mom’s. No Zombie Pub Shamble on Saturday. No taking pictures of the fall foliage. No hanging out gun-nutting with a friend on Sunday. It wasn’t as though I was completely laid-up, but getting up and down the stairs at home wasn’t pleasant. When I was younger, I either would have shaken off the injury immediately, or worked harder trying not to fall, and really sprained my ankle. I’m not sure which I enjoy more less, but I was struck by the thought that this “getting older” thing sucks in general, and I need to try and get back into better shape so you don’t read about me in one of those news stories where they have to peel the roof off my house and hoist me out with a crane.

And with that image to brighten your day, let’s get to the links.

14. October, 2005 - a better week

This was a better week than last. Progress was made, and even if I don’t have everything wrapped up yet, I’m not stuck anymore. There’s still plenty to grumble about, and I will, but I feel pretty good going into this weekend, which is a nice change.

Seems like it was only last month I was singin’ that song, and here it is again. I just don’t understand what’s so difficult about responding to an email or a phone call. Last month, it was because they were billing me for a service I’d never paid for before. This month, the problem is that I actually tried to have them change something with that service I’m now paying for. Took an email, two phone calls, and five hours waiting to get a 30-second job done. I keep thinking when they talk about what great “service” they have, they mean it in the animal-husbandry way, and not customer-satisfaction.

13. October, 2005 - baseball news

Today, just about everything’s in the links. I could ramble on, but I’ll give y’all a break this time.

12. October, 2005 - a light went on

Yesterday was a good day, not so much in the “accomplishing things” category, as in the “figuring things out” category. I’m left with plenty to do today, but suddenly my path is clear, and that’s a good feeling to start the day with.

I’ve been working on a project that required me to learn DreamWeaver, and I’ve been frustrated by it for a couple weeks. Not continuously, but I knew there was something I was missing, so I would spend an hour or two trying to figure it out before giving up in frustration and working on something else. Specifically, I had spiffy page templates, and a bunch of content, but couldn’t figure out how to make a new page from the template so I could put the two together. I tried all sorts of crazy stuff and had just about figured I was going to give in and do the work in BBEdit, when I discovered that the approved method seems to be to create a new HTML page, and then dig into the “Modify” menu, down to the “Templates” sub-menu, where you do “Apply Template to Page…” Silly me. I kept looking for ways to do “New Page from Template…” and was spending most of my time looking around in the main menus.

I had another revelation yesterday. The fact that I was getting as stuck and frustrated as I was reminded me that I haven’t had a vacation in forever. Yes, I’ve travelled, but mostly to conferences, or to things with definite plans already in place (like the ball-trip down to Sioux Falls and Wilno last summer). I need something like my 2002 Vacation, where there are large blocks of completely unstructured time to wander around someplace I haven’t been before.

Having that revelation in hand, I shuffled my plans for the day a bit. Rather than sticking to work all day, I broke it off at noon, and went out to lunch. Dropped my truck off for a slightly overdue oil change, and walked home. Spent an hour and change gathering pictures from my year in Melk, with the thought of turning that “coming soon” page into something more real now that two years have passed since I initially posted it. I probably should have been working, but this gave me a chance to think about vacation possibilities.

Then I headed off to get a haircut. I’m not sure where I’m going on vacation yet, but I do know that my passport is expired, and since I’m going to need a new picture for that, I figured I might as well let Marcy fix my hair, which had started curling in all the wrong directions (mostly away from my noggin). Bussed down there, got trimmed, and then back downtown to stop in at the Kinko’s in the IDS to get passport photos taken and buy a new bus pass. Then back to the bus to go rescue my truck before the garage closed at 6pm.

Riding the bus to the garage, a cute gal was standing in front of me during the ride. I watched her catch me checking her out, then reach into her pocket, extract a ring, slip it onto her finger, and then give me a look. What’s a guy to do? I gave her a weak smile and offered her my seat when I got off the bus.

11. October, 2005 - successful, I guess…

You know those days when everything goes as well as can be expected, but not as well as you’d like? That’s how yesterday was for me. I was pretty productive, getting some work done, finishing all the errands I could, and even put in the last of the carpeting in my bedroom (though it took an hour for the last three tiles — I was right when I thought that cutting them in around the closet door was going to be a pain).

So that’s the good. The bad? Well, I’d forgotten that it was a holiday, which meant that I couldn’t do things like go to the bank or buy stamps to pay the bills with the checks I’d gotten in the mail and deposited in the bank. That’s a chunk of errands that needs to happen today. And I didn’t finish the work I’d hoped to, so that’s still on for today. And I discovered (I’ve known this for a while, but I got the final confirmation after not screwing up a single cut) that I way overbought the carpet-tile for the bedroom. I’ve got twenty tiles left over, which is about $300 (out of $1800) I didn’t need to spend. I’ll find a use for them elsewhere (if nothing else, I may carpet the closet), but dang!

And that’s what I mean that things went as well as could be expected, but not as well as I’d like. The day was pretty good, but I’m stuck with a nagging feeling that a few small tweaks would have made it an excellent day. I guess I should be happy with what went well, but I’m enough of a perfectionist that I just can’t enjoy the successes when I think I could’ve done better. Especially when the holiday catching me by surprise left stuff to do today that I had hoped to be done with yesterday.

10. October, 2005 - weekend recap

Another Monday, another weekend recap.

Friday, I concentrated on the long-term, spending the morning updating my resume, and the afternoon talking with the folks who are thinking about hiring me, plus a recruiter who has a job for my one remaining employee. Nothing is final, but it’s sure looking like Better Nerds will be going somewhat dormant before too much longer. Of course this happens at a time when I could use some more work to fill out this month, but it’s tough to actively hunt for new work when you know it’s going to be short-term at best.

Friday evening I went out to see Serenity with a couple friends. I enjoyed the hell out of the movie, and just don’t get the complaints various people have had with it. It’s the first movie I’ve gone to in a theater in years, and while I was initially shocked at the $8 ticket-price, when the movie was done, I didn’t mind the price at all. Kirsten has a Serenity Roundup if you want to read what other people thought about it. We followed the movie with dinner, and by the time I got home, I was pretty much done for the day.

Saturday, I put all thoughts of work from my mind. After spending most of the morning slacking around the house, I headed outside. It was a little chilly for the shorts and t-shirt I was wearing, but I started working on yard stuff, and quickly warmed up. I started by pulling the tomato and pepper plants from the garden, harvesting the last few fruits that had ripened. That left me with a big pile of vegetation that needed to be chopped into smaller pieces before putting it into the compost bin, so I got out the lawn-mower and chopped the veggie plants and then mowed the lawn, which still wasn’t quite dry enough, but I wanted to get it finished.

After a late lunch, when the afternoon sun had moved around to light the bedroom upstairs, I tackled the remaining carpet-tile. I managed to get all but three tiles installed, and they’re the ones around the closet door. Overall the job went pretty well, but doing all the fine cuts needed around doors is definitely my least favorite part of the job. I’m thinking that if I need a break from the computer this afternoon, I’ll finish that up.

Saturday evening was the regularly-scheduled monthly poker game. First one of the season, now that Saints baseball is done for the year. That meant clearing the summer’s accumulation of stuff from the dining/poker table. I had almost six months of various receipts, mail, and other junk on the table, and filled the shredder twice with old receipts and such. Had a pretty good pile of paper for the recycling, too. The poker game went well, and after everyone left, I called it a night.

Sunday was a low-energy day. Besides being up late with the poker, I had inaugurated Bourbon Season, mixing three manhattans for myself over the course of the evening. I use the excuse that it’s colder here than in Pennsylvania, so I’m entitled to start bourbon season before Halloween. The day mostly consisted of watching the TV, with a couple forays into the kitchen to clean up a bit and forage for food. “Wasting” a beautiful day like Sunday always leaves me with mixed feelings. I felt I should be out enjoying some of the last nice weather we’re going to have this year and taking pictures of pretty trees, but it’s just not as much fun to stay inside and do nothing when the weather is crummy enough that you don’t want to go out anyhow. What’s the point in being irresponsible if you don’t have any responsibilities in the first place?

And that’s the weekend that was, kids. Time to plow headlong into the new week and do my best to finish things that should have been done weeks ago.

7. October, 2005 - another friday

Looking back at the friday posts from the last month, I don’t think September was an especially good month for me. October isn’t shaping up to be much better yet, but that’s at least partly due to it still being allergy season. Once we get the first killing frost, most of the allergens clear from the air, and I’m a happier camper. That didn’t happen last night though. A low of 32.2°F here, and the only frost I could see this morning was a light coating on the roof of my garage. The forecast doesn’t have any more chances for frost in the foreseeable future, so there’s probably at least another week of stuffy head in my future.

Yesterday, I had planned to avoid the daily blogging in the morning and get straight to work when I woke up. That fell apart, and the rest of the day just sort of followed. I had been out late at the Sporty on Wednesday night (I spent a few hours talking with a ceramics prof from the U about what makes art “art”), so I wasn’t expecting an early start, but first there was the news from the Park Board, and when I had finished typing that, the phone rang.

I had a twenty-minute discussion with state Senator Larry Pogemiller about the meth bill, which restricts the amount of Sudafed a guy can buy in Minnesota. After explaining my complaint to him, he said he’s going to talk to the author of the bill, and see if they can adjust the monthly limit so it actually will represent a full one-month’s supply. Shocking, but true. Especially when I read the letter his staff had sent to me in the mail, which had a completely different tone.

That killed off the morning. I spent the afternoon alternating between trying to get my resume updated (it’s been over three years since I’ve touched it) and figuring out what I’m doing for the client’s website that I need to finish. I ended up doing neither especially well, and both remain for today. And once the work is done, there are tentative plans to go see Serenity.

6. October, 2005 - Stone Arch Bridge for Rent?!?

I was planning to take the day off from blogging today, but something has come up that I had to post.

5. October, 2005 - have some rain

Almost six inches of rain since yesterday. Another couple on the way. Paging Noah and Party…

As for the temperature, well, the big cool-off hasn’t really hit yet. As I write this, the dewpoint is still at 66, but the bottom’s supposed to fall out any time now. More rain, the wind swinging around to the west, and then some dry air, followed by a high in the 40s tomorrow. I’m actually looking forward to it.

Yesterday I actually got some stuff done. Not the progress I was hoping for, but at this point any positive progress feels pretty good, and I did that in between lightning storms that had me shutting down the computer. And then later in the day I hooked up the new programmable thermostat to the furnace (and tested it so I don’t get a nasty surprise when it does get cold). The hardest part was probably finding where to shut off the power to the furnace while playing with the wires. Not a really big deal, but again, progress. Today, hopefully more progress. Wish me luck.

4. October, 2005 - wet - cooler

Eighty-frickin’-five degrees yesterday. That wasn’t a record, but the overnight low of 72 and dewpoint of 69 were both records for all recorded dates in October in Minneapolis. Ever. This morning, I woke to a storm, with some slightly cooler air. But it’s still going to take all day for the temperature inside the house to drop back to reasonable levels.

And that heat dictated how yesterday went. I spent the relatively cool hours of the morning catching up on the usual Monday administrivia, which took longer than I had hoped. Then a trip out to the bank, some lunch, and shopping for groceries. When I returned home, it was too hot for my computer to like life (remember, I pulled out the air conditioners last week), and it did the spontaneous “I’m too hot and going to shut down without giving you a chance to save first” thing, so when it took a nap, I took a nap.

But the warm weather helped my peppers. Most of the rest of the harvest has ripened, and since I’d been planning to do something to preserve them, I figured it was time. I didn’t want the extra heat in the kitchen from actually pickling them (maybe for the stragglers I’ll pick tomorrow), and decided to preserve them in alcohol instead. A quick trip to Surdyk’s reminded me that the wine sale starts today (for people on the mailing list — tomorrow for the general public). That’s okay. The things I wanted weren’t on sale anyhow.

So I came home with a big bottle of vodka and a smaller bottle of sherry. All of the wax yellows I haven’t already used went into a quart jar, with about a pint of vodka and a couple cloves of garlic. A pint jar got filled with tabascos and bird chiles, and topped off with the sherry. A quick taste of the sherry convinced me I shouldn’t have picked the driest one they sold, but that I definitely didn’t want a sweet sherry, either. In both cases, the peppers (and the alcohol surrounding them) should keep until I have fresh peppers next spring, and I have my choice of either fishing out a pepper or two or just pouring out some tasty liquid. I’m betting the peppery vodka would make a pretty good bloody mary, too.

Today, I’m going to try and tackle the work I was planning to do yesterday, and that’s about it. I’m behind on this project and need to wrap it up, if for no other reason than I need to get the invoice submitted so the cash flow keeps flowing. Wish me luck.

3. October, 2005 - hot?

When I woke up this morning at 6am, it was still 70°F outside. That’s not typical Minnesota October, and it’s got me down a bit. I’m ready for cooler weather, not something that feels like mid-August. The weekend didn’t especially help either. Friday, tried to work, but mostly just ran errands for a lunch-hour that turned into a three-hour excursion. Got the checks into the bank to cover payroll, which is a good thing, then bought some food, some reloading supplies, and a programmable thermostat that I’m going to install one of these days. Then heard some interesting news from one of the neighbors that I’ll have more on below.

Saturday was a trip up to mom’s. She’s got a cold, and we needed to get her some cough-syrup after eating lunch. She was talkative with the cute waitress at the restaurant, which was fun. But I’d been hoping that the trees up there would be colorful and worth taking pictures of. As it was, it was only the sumac that had changed color. I thought about maybe heading north, but instead just took the long way home and ended up hating traffic.

Sunday? I got up early, read the morning news, ate breakfast, and then went back to bed and slept past noon. Spent the rest of the day watching TV and not doing much anything useful. Some weekends that feels relaxing. This was not one of those weekends. Never did get out to see Serenity, either. I don’t especially like going to movies in theaters by myself, and didn’t find anyone who wanted to go. I might have had better luck if I’d actually looked, I guess.

Today, I’m going to take another shot at the map I need to do for a client, but if I don’t make progress pretty quickly, I think I’ll just need to build the rest of the website for them, and have a clickable list of states instead. The most important thing is finishing the website for them at this point. It’s been too long, and even though they don’t seem to be in much of a hurry, I need to cross it off my list. Add in the normal Monday administrivia, plus the first of the month stuff, and it looks like a pretty busy day.

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Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:59:49.