Journal

Fall 2004

Thursday, December 30th

Oh boy, things are moving fast now. Christmas was spent in Minnesota with my family, and I had a really good time. Since we all practically live in different states, it's good to have everyone together for a little while.

I'm off work this week, but it hasn't really felt like it. I was working on the server upgrade yesterday, which turned into a hassle when the power supply died. The new one should be here in a couple days, but until then I'm running off a temporary system.

Today I sent off some papers for the sale of my duplex, drove down to Chicago and wrote an offer on a condo, went shopping and came back. I also made arrangements for temporary housing, and tomorrow morning is the movers inspection. I will be moved by closing, which is Januray 11th. I'll be in an apartment for probably two or three weeks until my closing on the condo. Then it will be done. It is going to be a crazy month.

Monday, December 20th

What a weekend. I had both Friday and today off, so it was especially long. Friday Mike and I got his new server rack into his basement, and then got my new TV and set it up. Wow. I'm really happy with it. I got a new DVD player since I wanted progressive scan, but I'm not as thrilled with it. I really want to get rid of the layer change delay, so I spent a bit more, but it is still there. I might as well have spent forty bucks. All of this led up to Saturday and the incredible thirteen-hour, marathon Lord of the Rings viewing. It started with three people but gradually grew to ten. It was a lot of fun.

So after going to bed at 3:30am after the movie, Sarah and I got up at 7:00 to go to Chicago. There we braved the bitter cold to look at fifteen different condos, and drive past another one. While they all had a lot in common with one another, I've work that list down to three, and barring some new listing that grabs my interest, will probably make an offer fairly shortly. After that we met one of her friends down there and went to dinner. It was a really cool place, except they lost our order and we didn't get fed for nearly an hour.

Today was not as productive as I hoped, but I did get some cleaning done and some more drywall up in the basement. Tomorrow evening will be busy with wrapping that up so that the inspection goes smoothly on Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 14th

Today I learned that olive oil can not be substituted for margarine. This seemingly obvious statement was met with a degree of skepticism until, through empircal research I concluded that it is a terrible idea that should never be attempted.
In other news, work accidentally paid my relocation allowance twice, giving me a brief hope that it might not be a mistake. I notified them, though, and it will be corrected. However, in advance of the Lord of the Rings marathon this weekend, I may yet convince myself to go buy a new TV. The key issue with this is that it would then necessitate a new progressive scan DVD player and some speaker stands. Clearly, I don't need an HDTV to watch the movies, but yet, if I could...

Sunday, December 12th

I got some good news this weekend. The third showing of the house yielded an offer for the full asking price, which I accepted. The only downside is that they are asking for my refrigerator and range, which I was intending to keep. I suppose it is worth it for the full price, but it still feels like someone went shopping through my stuff. I almost wish they had asked for the pool table, since I likely won't have a place for it, but I know I'll have a place for a refrigerator! Oh well. I don't want to sound like I am focusing on the bad, because I am actually quite happy about it. So, it isn't certain yet, but it seems fairly likely that I have sold my house. That leaves the task of finding one, which hopefully will be put in motion next Sunday when I go see what the realtor has found for me.
My Xbox is now modded, thanks to Scott B, but I can't really take advantage of it until I get some wireless networking to it, since it isn't really convenient to run a cable over there. Also, I've only got a half gig free on my hard drive, so I can't really download anything anyway. I'll likely be ordering a new 250 gig drive in a few days. That's pretty much all I've got going on.

Monday, December 6th

Well things have jumped into motion, as they are wont to. My boss got the paperwork for my relocation in, so they called me and gave me the details of the very generous package the company is offering me. Shortly thereafter I received emails from my realtor, got pre-approved with two different mortgage companies, and played a little phone tag with my new other realtor down in Chicago.
The bathroom is finally painted, which was actually a bit more of a chore than I expected, since I also used the opportunity to thoroughly clean the tub and surround. Oh, let me not tell you about that. It's really better that way. I still have other stuff to do around the house, especially down in the basement, and I discovered I have to go back into the attic on a seond mildew killing mission. Stupid lack of ventilation; stupid ineffective dryer vent. My five pound week actually went fairly well, but a lack of follow through mitigated a lot of it. I'm still committed to adding some substance by year end. This past weekend I enjoyed the complete Dune and Children of Dune miniseries courtesy of Eriq and Eric. It was a good adaptation, excepting some really awful backdrops all through the first one. That's about all that's going on with me.

Monday, November 29th

Thanksgiving was good. I visited my Mom in Indiana on Thursday and had dinner. It was a short stay, though, since I worked Friday. The rest of the weekend was rather unproductive, excepting some Axis and Allies, and beating the Allied campaign of Battlefield 1942. So basically I spent most of it reenacting World War II.
In any case I was back at work today working on making a package to update all of the XP systems we rolled out to the latest version. It is an interesting challenge, though I have doubts about the overall feasibility. I'm also trying a five pound week, the goal being to gain five pounds between today and this Sunday. I meant to go to the store this evening to make that more feasible, but I haven't managed that. So, off to great start, clearly.

Tuesday, November 16th

I had a nice relaxing weekend. Sarah and I mostly stayed around the house watching Firefly episodes, and then Sunday I met up with Mike and Eriq to discuss YABP (Yet Another Business Plan). I discovered that I need to wait until I am contacted by the relocation service before I can begin selling my house and buying a new one, and I have no idea what to expect of that process. It could be tomorrow, it could be in a month.

My main computers hard drive crashed, so I'm stuck with my DVD burner system on an increasingly fuzzy monitor. I need to pull a hard drive out of it and put that into the main box and put XP back on it. I tried putting Fedora Core 3 Linux on a different system, but it börked up the video on the installer while I was selecting components. As a result it doesn't boot into KDE, and I don't even know what is installed. I'm really not in the mood to learn the command line, so it sits until I reinstall, hoping it doesn't get messed up again.

Last night Mike and I went down to Itasca, IL to attend a meeting for work, and we drove back today. I'm actually kind of getting used to the drive, even though this time Mike drove. I definitely wouldn't want to make it daily, but I do get to go back down Thursday.

Sunday, November 7th

Today Sarah and I went down to Chicago and looked at neighborhoods. While there weren't a lot of surprises, I decided after a lot of oscillation that I want to live in the city, around the Lincoln Park area. The trick now is finding something affordable in that general vicinity. I'm still not entirely sure what the time frame will be. I'm also intending to sell my duplex again, despite my earlier reservations, I think I may be able to get a fair sum out of it, which could offset some of the disadvantages. Of course, selling it means I need to finish up the work in the basement, something I'm not looking forward to after already spending so much time preparing it for the Halloween party.

Thursday, November 4th

Work has been fairly slow recently. A few little things have popped up, but I've found some time to work on FIRE, which is actually coming along really well. Tonight I am going to see the new Ghost in the Shell movie, since it is the last day in theaters and Sarah and I watched the original this past weekend. That reminds me, I should really take those DVD's back! I haven't made much progress on cleaning since the party, which is disappointing. I keep telling myself the next day. On a more positive note, I made it to the workout yesterday, and intend to tomorrow. We recently decided to try it in the morning, which broke my fairly regular habit.
I have a couple of percolations in my head that I'm hoping will develop into full blown thoughts, but they aren't there yet. Concepts of mental energy, discipline, and focus are floating around alongside more mundane things like housework, listening to and reading the news, and getting up on time. I think I may actually be reaching the point where I can exert some control over my mental well ebign and overall resolve. That may lead to some more grounded changes. We'll see.

Tuesday, November 2nd

What all has happened with me? I took nearly all of last week off to work on the basement, and amazingly enough, it was done just in time (or done enough) to throw my Halloween party in the new game room. The party was a success, though certainly not as large as Eriq's the night before, I had a great time and I hope the people that came did too. Not much else has been going on. My hunt for housing has led me to consider just getting an apartment for a while, though that may partly be because I don't want to sell my place now that I have the new room downstairs. I still have a lot of cleaning to do, since I've been enjoying my first opportunity to take it easy in a while. Sarah and I also started watching Firefly, which recently came out on DVD.

Sunday, October 17th

Tulsa was pretty cool. We got the new Windows XP image mostly hammered out, with some work to do on the configuration script. I took a whole bunch of pictures, and with the exception of a car accident that I wasn't in, things went pretty uneventfully. The hotel was really nice, and the weather was slightly warmer, if rainy. I've added Oklahoma and Texas to my count of states visited (31 that I remember being in, not counting ones I've only flown over).
The trip gave me a better feel for what I hope my new job will be like, and I enjoyed myself. I've been spending a lot of time on Realtor.com looking for houses. The drywalling is done in the basement. Now it's time to get someone in there to mud and tape it. It's only thirteen days until the party (!). I'm going to need to take some time off work to get it done in time.

Sunday, October 10th

Okay. I have unexpected news. I got a promotion at work. As a result I am moving to the Chicago area. I don't really know where to begin. The job is going to be a lot more project-oriented rather than having the ongoing litany of tickets. I'll be working with people from different regions in the company on rolling out new technologies in IS. I'm pretty excited about that aspect. I'm less excited about moving. Granted I've been trying to get out of Wisconsin for a while now (seven years?!) but I wanted out of the Midwest, too. I'm not going to be too far away from my friends here, but it will be tough being by myself in a new city. I have a couple months to find a house and move, but the basement I've been working on is now going to see my Halloween party and little else. Maybe a going away party, but we'll see. I'm in Tulsa all this week, so I'll report back next weekend.

Sunday, October 3rd

Some good, some bad, and some mixed bag to report. My sister Jessica came up this weekend, and I was pleasantly surprised an hour or so later when my other sister showed up too! We spent the weekend seeing some of the Milwaukee sights, since they both live elsewhere. We had alot of fun, seeing the lakeshore, Brady Street, and the Art Museum. Next week I am in Bensenville for work, which is usually good since I like to travel, but it interferes with my work on the basement remodel. That is compounded by being in Tulsa the following week for work. The prospects for the basement are looking strained.

Finally, a few minutes ago one of my tenants came to the back door and didn't have the rent. This isn't the most horrible thing ever since I'll be expensing everything on my credit card for the next few days regardless, but it ruins my hopes of having a good tenant, since the first thing that good tenants do is pay the rent on time, every time. That really irritated me. How hard is it to make rent? The way that I have always worked things, even when I was temping and hadn't worked in basically a month, rent came first. Even if it means you're buying groceries and gas with a credit card, and paying the electric bill late, you keep aside the money for rent. That's just the way it is. If you're a kid and you're just starting out, maybe I'd cut more slack, but when you're in you're thirties and you are married with two incomes, how does that happen? Was it a surprise? 'Oh, crap, I have to pay rent again?' Sigh. This had better not be a sign of things to come.