December 2005

31. December, 2005 - this must be it
30. December, 2005 - last post of the year?
29. December, 2005 - still alive

Not really a whole lot to say. Tuesday saw me getting new trike tires and setting up the trainer. I plan to try and ride for at least a half-hour a day once the new year starts, which hopefully will see me in decent shape come springtime. Then I went out to celebrate my achievement, which led to a non-productive day yesterday. Figured I’d update y’all on that, not because it’s especially interesting, but because today’s a day of messing with websites anyhow, and I might as well start on my own.

The rest of the holiday break is already booked up, and if I have half-decent luck on my to-do list, I’ll get everything done I expected to. I won’t have tackled the extra things I threw in just in case, but setting my expectations low seems to be working. Goes to show something or other, I guess.

And that’s going to do it for today. And quite possibly for 2005. Have a swell new year.

27. December, 2005 - catching up

I haven’t had much to say lately. Spent yesterday watching Old Movies and enjoying the heck out of them, and wrote a little update about that. But mostly I’m just being lazy this week. The schedule has filled up from tomorrow onwards, and I think I’ll probably be a slacker again today. My realistic planning helped somewhat, but I’m already triaging the list. Some things I won’t have time for, and others I just don’t want to do badly enough to bother.

But I guess that’s okay. The work things that are critical will get done. The rest will or won’t, and I’m not going to worry too much about it.

24. December, 2005 - Christmas Eve

Not a whole lot of links today, but that’s okay. It’s been a time of rest. Yesterday I got through another of the tasks I’d assigned myself for the time off from work, and this slow and steady progress is making me feel pretty good. Again, the task was only a couple hours, but was one of the few I was pretty unsure about getting done. It required ventilation because it was working with solvents and good ventilation is generally tough to come by in Minnesota in the winter, but it was very warm yesterday (42 according to the national weather service, and nearly 50 according to the thermometer in my truck - warm enough that I was working in just a T-shirt for a while), so I set up the workmate bench in the garage and got to work. Then when I was done, I talked with a neighbor I haven’t met before while the fumes dissipated. A darned good afternoon.

Thursday saw a successful trip to the bank and a trip to St. Boni to get my truck fixed. And while I was at the dealership, the mother of the guys I know there decided that they needed to add to the horse-trailer portion of their website. One project down, another added.

Today begins the list of real obligations. Don’t get me wrong, most of them are fun, but my time is not my own today and tomorrow. The schedules are set by other people, and that’s just the kind of thing that will make a control-freak like me a mite twitchy. I’m sure I’ll enjoy hanging out with the various folks over the next few days, but when I got the call last night telling me that today’s festivities had been moved a few hours early, my eyelid started jumping around like Doctor Strangelove’s arm.

But hey, it’s the time of the year for good cheer and presents that make people scratch their heads. And I realized yesterday that I still need to buy one last present. I need to get something from mom for me. Not sure what it’ll be, but at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if it came from a gas-station. Then again, maybe I can find a local source for a memory-card for my camera to help with the picture taking that will accompany the events this weekend.

22. December, 2005 - just rambling

I posted an essay about my attempted realistic planning for the holidays. That’s it for today.

21. December, 2005 - shortest day

First, a reminder to myself. Always remember to adjust the temperature of the toaster oven down from “broil” before trying to bake one of those self-rising pizzas. They don’t turn out very well when broiled.

That out of the way, I did finish up the work for the year before lunch yesterday, so I headed home. Spent my afternoon of freedom taking a nap, and felt much better for it. But now I’ve got a list of eight different things to do around home before I go back to work in January, most of which are a significant chunk of a day when you figure in the procrastinating and trips to the hardware store because I forgot that one bit I need to do the job. I’m going to try and get through one each day (and no more than that), during the time off. Seems like a pretty good plan, and realistically I expect I’ll manage at least half of them. The rest? Well, maybe they’re not such important tasks after all.

Also found out last night that my neighbors are throwing a party next week. It’s a pot-luck dinner sort of thing, and I need to figure out what I’m going to contribute. Plenty of time remaining, but they’re doing the main courses, so I’ll be cooking somewhat outside my normal comfort zone. Should prove interesting.

It’s the shortest day of the year today. Looking like it’s going to shape up to be a cloudy one too, but at least the temperature is climbing. Yes, the cold weather still remains, and will for months, but simply having sunlight on either the drive to or from work will probably help my mental state a fair bit.

Not sure what my blogging schedule is going to be, but don’t panic if I miss a day. I’ve got some spare time this next week and a half, but I’m also going to try and rest some more. That may mean a morning or two away from the computer.

20. December, 2005 - gonna be late

Well, I’ve officially given up on the idea of getting Christmas cards to people by Christmas. I was hoping to write up a bunch of them last night, but after getting home, eating, and responding to a few pressing emails, I was done for the day. Went to bed around 8 and didn’t wake up until six this morning.

That leads me to think I’ve got a cold. Nothing too serious, since I’m not sure, but just enough to leave me a little worn-down and lethargic. Which is okay. I’ve got a little bit of work to do today, and if it goes at all well, I’ll be done for the year. Already talked to the bosses, and they concur. So there’s a very real possibility I’ll be heading home early today, and not going back to the office until January 2nd. And that’s sounding like a pretty darned good plan this morning, even if it means unpaid time off. At this point, I’d rather have the time than the money.

19. December, 2005 - down to the wire

Well, the big plan for the weekend was to get the bills paid and the Christmas cards in the mail. Neither has happened yet, and about all I really accomplished was dragging Jim to the MOB gathering at Keegan’s. Just as we were about ready to leave, I noticed a message on my cellphone from one of the former bartenders from the Sporty who was in town for the weekend, so we trooped down there to see her. After consuming what the booze-o-meter tells me was a full week’s worth of booze (for a normal person), I headed home to sleep.

Sunday, more sleep. Generally low-energy kind of day. Again with the not getting things done. Got a call from a friend in the evening who was trying to convince me to join the sunday-night gang but begged off. The best email of the weekend was from the friend for whom I’d bought a cool present, but wasn’t sure if she’d like it or not. She loved it, so that made me happy. And now, it’s time for me to sit down and write a bunch of checks so the bills can go in the mail, then clean myself up and get to work only mildly late. I’m starting to think the Christmas cards will be New Year’s cards this year, but I guess we’ll see. Not sure why, but I just haven’t been very excited about writing them this year.

The linkage today is all music-oriented, which I find somewhat odd. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but that’s what I found interesting while surfing yesterday and this morning.

17. December, 2005 - Saturday edition?

Instead of getting to the ton of errands I need to do around the house today, I find myself sitting in front of the computer and writing. Well, I guess that’s not all bad, since there’s more for you to read, but I need to get moving soon if I’m going to have a chance of getting to the post office before they close so I can mail the bills and Christmas cards, and have time to swing by the MOB gathering this evening.

Yesterday’s pot-luck was fun. My jambalaya came out well, with a couple additions. I’ve updated the recipe. The guy who has the office next to me made some chili that made my mouth feel like my ears do at an Alice Cooper concert, which was a good thing. But I ate too much, and combined with the too-warm temperature in my office, that led to me cutting out early from work. I was nodding off there, but seemed to be fine again once I got myself into cooler climes, which is just about anywhere else in the state. I think I’m going to have to buy a thermometer for the office so I can convince the building people there’s actually something wrong, but there are times when it feels like a sauna in there, and I don’t know about you, but I’m just not super productive when I’m stewing in my own (abundant) juices.

16. December, 2005 - Friday at last

Actually, it didn’t seem like a long week until yesterday evening, when it all caught up to me after the second straight day of shovelling snow both morning and evening, followed by a bunch of cooking. I’m just plain tired this morning, so this is going to be brief.

15. December, 2005 - good morning

Last week, it was the middle of the week when I missed a day. Nearly did so this week, but woke up early this morning and found a few things before I head off for what looks like it’ll be a long day. Got a meeting scheduled to begin after I’m usually home from work, plus there’s the prep-cook for tomorrow’s pot-luck to be done this evening.

Last night, when I got home, besides the shovelling to be done, I discovered that the fargin’ squirrels had chewed the top completely off one of the bird-feeders. I refilled the other feeder, but the one the tree-rats destroyed will sit empty for another day or two. I’ll try to remember to grab a picture of it before I throw it away. It’s not that I mind the squirrels eating the food I’m putting out for the birds, but I think I might pop for the expensive squirrel-proof feeder when I buy a replacement just to be spiteful.

But a quiet evening, coupled with a friend stopping by and hanging out for about an hour improved my mood last night, so I think I’m ready to face today. And if I get to work a bit later than usual this morning because I was up late (though not much later than usual, I just cut short the before-sleep reading), that’s a pretty easy price to pay.

14. December, 2005 - nothing much

Not much tonight. I’m tired from shovelling snow (twice today, and probably at least once tomorrow!) and have a long day booked tomorrow, plus I need to do some prep-work for Friday’s pot-luck grub.

13. December, 2005 - open sores? source!

One of the things I’m doing in my new job is working with some open source software. It all seemed to be going pretty well, until today. Today I started digging deeper, and found that the software doesn’t compile right with my current compiler (there’s obviously some magickal flag I don’t know to set), and when I try to use it, I get a structure that’s misaligned so my code can’t read the data it needs to get. It’s part of OS X, and I need to use it, but because it’s open source, there’s no nice installer, or system API provided, and I managed to burn almost the entire afternoon just trying to get one of the many function calls supplied to work correctly. I’m just a mite frustrated with it at the moment.

But otherwise things are going well. I mostly like the job, even when I’m being frustrated by shitty software (and besides, if all the software out there was perfect, I wouldn’t have a job). In all, it’s not a bad holiday season, even if I wish I could just get to Christmas so I could spend that week between the holidays sleeping. Meanwhile, I’ll keep plugging along, and maybe even get the cards sent out one of these days.

And on the way home today, I finished the shopping for the Christmas pot-luck at work this Friday. Got a couple pounds of shrimp, a couple pounds of andouille, some tomato sauce, and it’s pretty easy to figure out what I’m going to be cooking. Recipe to follow once I’ve figured out little details like whether I’m just making a crock-pot’s worth, or hauling in the 5 gallon pot. Got enough fixin’s to go either way. And that, plus a few links, is going to do it for today.

12. December, 2005 - morning and evening

Yep. Both morning and evening posts. Morning below.


Quick morning update. Perhaps more this evening, too. Guess we’ll see.

11. December, 2005 - lazy

That’s what the weekend was. Friday, went out for happy hour and dinner and didn’t get home until well after I should have. Made up for the fun, frivolity and expense (there was plenty of each) by not leaving the house on either Saturday or Sunday. Just hung at home, watched some tube, and slept a lot. The big excitement was Steph stopping by on Saturday morning to pick up some of the food she’s keeping in my freezer while her kitchen’s torn up. Well, unless you count the time spent looking through over a thousand spams that had come in during the week, just to make sure there wasn’t a legitimate email in there (not this week). That’s pretty darned exciting too, right?

Tomorrow, it’s back to the regular grind. My attitude was a lot better by the time I left on Friday, and I just hope it’ll last. I also have a little bit of work to do for my business one of these evenings (plus year-end is coming, and I need to get the books in order for the accountant). Two more weeks to get to the holiday break, and then I’ll have a week off (with plenty of holiday stuff to fill the time). I’m looking forward to it already.

9. December, 2005 - late start

Getting a late start today, but not for any of the usual reasons. Instead, I know I’ve got a phone-conference that begins late in the afternoon here (though earlier in California), plus when I got home last night, my mailbox was standing open with no mail. I think I’m going to stick around home until the mailman arrives just to see if he knows what’s up with that. There’s one package that’s still supposed to be arriving from amazon.com, and it’s nearly a month overdue at this point (it was supposed to ship on November 16th). I find myself wondering if yesterday was the day it arrived, but suspect it might just have been a no-mail day. But that means I have time to blog while I’m waiting for the mailman to arrive.

As for work, my enthusiasm wanes. I’m engaged in a technical debate with the guy who’s supposed to be handing off information about the project I’m taking over, and we don’t see eye to eye. It’s preventing me from getting moving as fast as I’d like on the project, and frustrating me quite a bit. At this point, I’m just looking to get through today with no major snags, and figuring that maybe I can start with a fresh attitude next week. Wish me well.

8. December, 2005 - plugging along

Stopped off for buck burgers and a few beers last night, and don’t have much time this morning, so this is definitely sub-standard. Sorry. But I’m into the downhill section of the course here, and I can see the weekend from where I’m at.

6. December, 2005 - brrr

Fresh out of fahrenheits this morning. Overdrawn, even. It was darned chilly out there this morning. This evening, still chilly, and I realize that I’ve gotta tweak the times on the programmable thermostat a little bit. Need a bit of time for the house to warm back up before I get home from work.

Work continues. I finally received my new Mac at work today, and spent most of the day getting it set up. Luckily, I’ve gathered enough information that while I was waiting for the various installers to run, I could put together emails to various folks either asking for more information, or summarizing what I’ve learned so far, and asking for a sanity check. But that doesn’t actually get the work done that I need to get finished by this Friday. I’ve got a good chunk left to do this week, and if blogging is light the rest of the week, that’s why.

5. December, 2005 - oops

Well. Two updates in pretty quick succession. I was all set to head in to work early today, but remembered just as I was about to head out the door that I need to swing by the bank this morning, and they don’t open until 8 am, so I’ve got some time to do an update.

4. December, 2005 - Weekend Edition

I obviously don’t have the new schedule worked out, but it seems like a good time to do another update. It’s Sunday evening, and I’ve finished watching a bunch of things that my TiVo caught for me over the weekend. If I start anything else now, I’ll end up getting to bed late, so it’s time to shut off the tube for the night, and typing this up will get me about to the point where I’m ready to sleep.

I guess it was a pretty good weekend. Friday, I wrapped up the last item on the to-do list my manager had given me for the week, and cut out a little early. Saturday morning, I ran a bunch of errands, swung by the gun show in Stillwater, and drove state highway 95 most of the way up to mom’s. That’s a road which parallels the St. Croix River most up to Taylors Falls before heading inland, and even though it was snowing lightly, the views over the river were pretty cool. I visited with mom for a while, and headed home. Got everything cleaned up for the semi-regular poker game, but we never did get a quorum, so those of us who did show up just hung out and talked and had some beers.

Sunday? A slow day. Aside from installing a bunch of software and losing the pictures I’d taken on Saturday, I didn’t do much at all. Apparently I need to spend some more time to figure out everything about working with Camera Raw. The pictures I lost were probably culls anyhow, but I guess I’ve got a few things left to figure out about the camera. As for the rest of the day, there were a few things I should have done that I just didn’t, but I felt like I needed a day off, so I took it easy. I’ll worry about the list during the week. And that about does it for the weekend.

2. December, 2005 - excellent birds
Excellent Birds
Excellent Birds
3008x2000(458k)
640x425(19k)

Yesterday (thursday) morning on the way to work, I saw a nice photo opportunity from Tony Schmidt Park, on Lake Johanna, so I stopped at the parking lot, trudged through the snow, and you see the result there to the right. I’m reasonably happy with it, though it too a few tries to get the exposure right (this was the best of seven attempts).

It was a pretty good day, too. One of the things I like about having a job out of the house is the fact that I now have a reason to get out around (or before) sunrise. It’s one of my favorite times of the day, even when I have to shovel snow, like I have too many times this week.

On the other hand, heading to work before sunrise, then working a full day (plus a bit to make up for leaving early on Tuesday), driving in the dark to go shopping for an air-cleaner for mom’s bedroom, eating dinner, and then writing this used up pretty much all of my Thursday. It would have been nice to have a little time to watch TV or read a book or just relax. I’m starting to think I might want to switch back to the monday and friday blogging schedule I kept last time I had a job away from home.

1. December, 2005 - past half-way

Well, I’m more than halfway done with my first week on the new job. Still don’t have my computer, but hey, it’s not like they’re an integral part of the work, right? Erm.

But seriously, things aren’t going too badly. I’m still in a bit of shock from not being able to take my usual mid-afternoon nap, and I’m not exactly hip to driving to and from work in the snow before people have figured out that it might be slippery, but overall, I think it’s going pretty well. Yes, there are frustrations, but if it was supposed to be fun, I’d be paying them instead of the other way around, right?

Plus there’s the fact that after work today I decided I needed to swing by the local watering hole for a couple buck burgers and a bit of the old barley-pop. There are very few times when that won’t help my mood.

And that’s going to do it for the update today, kiddies. It’s time for me to finish this up and get some sleep so I can wake up bright and early and shovel the snow that’s falling while I’m typing this off of my sidewalk before heading out to deal with idiots on the road and the computer that still isn’t there. Bonus points if you parsed that sentence on the first try. I blame John Barleycorn.

Last Month
Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 14:00:08.