Journal

Fall 2006

Tuesday, December 26th

Christmas Eve we drove up to Sarah's grandmothers and had dinner with her extended family. We spent the night at her parents and Christmas Day we stayed there, had dinner and opened presents. Sarah got me a portable hard drive, which will be really helpful for trading files with friends, give me a place to back things up when I'm working on my computer, and in a pinch we can set up tiered storage if we run out of space again. I also got a bunch of other goodies: tea, tea cups, wine, a book, a dvd, and a couple shirts.

This is a short week, as I'm going to be heading down to my Mom's on Thursday. My family is having Christmas-after-Christmas this year, so my sisters and their family will be there. At work I'm going to be getting my self review done, since so far I'm the only one from my team in the office.

Friday, December 22nd

It's one of those quiet days at work. Most of the team is on vacation, the folks that are here are quietly working away and watching the clock as it counts towards the end of the week and the start of a long holiday weekend. The software rollouts I did this week are done and Altiris is even slower than usual, so I'm battling Tony's 5x5x5 Rubik's cube with no end in sight.

I do have a couple of things to take care of that I've been putting off, but as soon as I take care of them I'm going to be heading home. I've been talking to Eriq and Mike about an idea that I'd like to start fleshing out.

Friday, December 15th

I haven't posted in a couple weeks, but to be fair not a whole lot has been going on. At work I'm making progress on projects, and we're working out what we'll be tackling next year (starting with what we haven't finished this year). I'm also planning on going to training next month in Aliso Viejo, CA.

At home things are pretty typical. We're watching Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and catching the last couple series of Red Dwarf. As is evident by my lack of posts to proto, I haven't done much in the way of web development.

Last Friday Sarah and I met up with some of her coworkers down in the West Loop for some drinks. I went to the condo association meeting on Tuesday and volunteered to join the board. We also had one of the guys from the property management company there taking notes on some of the things that need attention. Hopefully my roof leak is fixed, and in the near future I may actually get my garage door repaired. This coming weekend Mike and Jessica are coming down for some Michigan Avenue Christmas shopping and downtown goodness.

Friday, December 1st

The first of December came with a vengeance. We got at least six inches of snow last night, missed Sarah's train this morning because traffic was slow, and I drove her in to work. After the hellish trip there I just drove back home, but the round trip was nearly two and a half hours. Shortly after getting back home, an email went out saying they had closed the office anyway.

So I'm at home, drinking some tea and deciding how to spend the rest of my day. Sarah's brothers were supposed to come down tonight for some computer gaming, but with the roads like they are that's probably not the best plan. We'll probably wind up taking it easy and watching amovie or something. Tomorrow is Sarah's moms birthday, but Sunday we don't have anything planned so maybe we'll go sledding.

Monday, November 27th

We had a fun time at Eriq's. I brought up my computer for some old-school file trading, we had homemade pizza and "First Coke" at Eriq's with glass bottle Coke. We also got a chance to play with Mike's Nintendo Wii. That thing is pretty cool, and I'm considering actually buying a video game console to play games. Probably not in the immediate future, but in time, once all the glitches are out and there are a couple more games for it.

Yesterday we just took it easy, watching TV, playing on the computer and reading. I actually bought a book while we were on vacation. It's the first novel I've read since Sarah loaned me a couple of hers. It's getting me in the mood to write, so maybe some new content in the Fiction section will be forthcoming. No promises.

Friday, November 24th

Saturday was the afore-mentioned Thanksgiving with my mom. My sister Jessica came up from Lafayette, Sarah and I brought the turkey, and we had a good meal. We spent the night there, and after doing some odd jobs around the house for my mom we headed down to Brown County, Indiana. The cabin we got was really cool, we spent some time hiking in the state park, shopping in Nashville (IN, not TN), and went into Bloomington. There was also some Dr. Mario and hot-tubbing.

We got back on Wednesday and went to see the King Tut exhibit at the Field Museum. It wasn't a bad time to go, because the crowds were pretty light. Someday I'd like to see the actual sarcophagus, but that can wait I guess. Yesterday it was off to Sarah's sisters for Thanksgiving with her family. Today after Sarah gets back from Black Friday shopping we'll be going to my bosses wedding reception, and then tomorrow we're going up to Milwaukeeto see Eriq's new place before going over to Madison to hang out with Mike and Jessica. So this is my little spot of down time, which I am rather enjoying.

Tuesday, November 14th

Work got busy again. It seems every time I start to feel on top of things, I get swamped with applications to repackage, problems to fix, software to roll out, and more challenges in the projects I'm on. I'm off next week, so I need to get a lot of this done before Friday. I'll probably end up working late tomorrow.

This past weekend we had Sarah's family over for her birthday celebration on Saturday and then took it easy on Sunday. This coming weekend we're going down to my mom's for a pre-Thanksgiving with her before heading for the cabin I mentioned in my last post.

Matt B is down in Chicago today, so he'll be coming over tonight. I haven't seen him since Mike's wedding in August, which is a sad state of affairs. I haven't seen Eriq and Mo since then either. Mike and Jessica moving to Madison makes it more difficult to see everyone at once the way I was able to before. Eriq and I have been trying to figure out a time when we can check out his new house, but he's seldom off on the weekends, the same reason Matt is coming down today.

Monday, November 6th

Last week was fairly slow and typical. Our weekend plans were derailed so it turned out being a quiet time, but it gave me the chance to finish up some web-development stuff. We took the train downtown on Saturday to do some shopping and other errands. We also found a neat little cabin in Brown County, IN that we're going to stay at in a couple weeks.

Work has been fairly productive as of late. I've been making some decent headway on a number of things and, with a couple of exceptions, it feels less like I'm buried. Today was a team building event, which is to say not so productive. The morning was spent on personality typing and the afternoon was mostly pointless debate. On the other hand, lunch was tasty and free, and it was all-in-all more enjoyable than going to the office, so I shouldn't really complain. Sometimes I'd rather just get some work done, since I know it's just going to be waiting there for me tomorrow.

Monday, October 30th

The Halloween party went off well. I was a raver and Sarah was a Scottish lass. Turn out was pretty good, though I had hoped a few more people could have made it from Wisconsin. Mike and Jessica came down and spent the night and we went to Svea for breakfast. Most of yesterday was spent slacking, since we cleaned most of the day Saturday. I'm hoping we can do a better job of keeping the house clean so that getting it ready isn't such a huge effort.

Thursday, October 26th

Man, the week is going fast. This past Saturday we went down to visit my Mom in Valporaiso and help her with her garden. Even though she moved into a townhouse where the lawn is taken care of for her, she still managed to put in a rather large flower bed, and we were enlisted to help plant bulbs in it. The rest of the weekend was pretty quiet, with some costume shopping, video games, and of course, Battlestar Galactica.

Work is going pretty well. I'm putting what I hope are finishing touches on an Office upgrade script, working to get our old Windows domain shut down, and trying to make some headway on the two projects I'm working on. Not too much else to report. We're working on getting the house cleaned up for this weekend, otherwise all is normal.

Monday, October 16th

Last weekend while I was working on my brakes, Sarah went with her sister and her sisters kids to Apple Holler. When she got back, she had the better part of a bushel of apples. For those that aren't entirely clear on how large a bushel is, I direct you to the entry at Wikipedia, which indicates in liquid form it's about 9 gallons, and further Internet research suggest it's about forty pounds of apples. Of course, my aunt would suggest that I use a more authoritative source for information, perhaps an agricultural trade publication, but I digress.

So even putting aside the sizeable quantity that she gave to her sister, we had a lot of apples. As a result, this past weekend resulted in pies, tarts, and applesauce, and all last week I brought apples to work. As I write this I'm biting into an Ida Red. Other than the flurry of baking and the cleaning that goes along with it, it was a pretty slow weekend. Friday we went to Sarah's grandmothers for her uncle's birthday party, but the rest of the weekend we played some computer games, watched American Psycho, and yesterday evening played with Legos. It was nice.

Monday, October 9th

This past weekend Sarah and I drove up to Mike and Jessica's for BSG. The drive up kinda sucked, because there were two back-ups from accidents on the freeway, we got a flat tire, and there was a detour. Once there we had a great time, though. Mike and I built an Ubuntu server with Xen Saturday morning while the girls did scrapbooking. Then it was on to Nicki's birthday party.

Yesterday I stayed at home and changed one of my front brake pads. I only changed one because it took forever, due to not having a 7mm hex key and a general lack of knowledge specific to the Audi. Per usual, the Internet helped out, but I still managed to cut open my wrist and in general have a crappy time of it. The other side will be tonight, and it should go much more smoothly.

Also tonight we're going back to the workout, something we haven't been very good at recently, and I need to update my IP address so I get email again.

Thursday, October 5th

The remainder of the Knoxville trip was all right. After my last post I went down to the Lounge and we saw Bill Nye (the Science Guy) come in and order a drink. Then yesterday we were back at the call center for some more time with the techs there before we headed for the airport.

Unfortunately our 5:20pm flight was delayed and we didn't take off until about 7:50pm. Then it took an extra forty minutes to fly home so we didn't get into O'Hare until around 9 and I didn't get home until 10. There's nothing so fun as spending lots of time at the airport, except maybe doing it two days in a row.

I'm back at work now, and looking over my to do list to try and get some stuff done. I just wish I hadn't forgotten my tea pot at home. I'm going into withdrawal!

Tuesday, October 3rd

This post comes to you from Knoxville, TN, where I'm visting overnight for work. We gave a presentation on the infrastructure, meaning basically what the teams at IS corporate do. The day went south early when I got up and the shower took ten minutes to heat up. Now, if I had been thinking I would have either skipped that shower at this point, taken it cold, or just allowed more time by getting up earlier.

Regardless, this ten minutes probably didn't make the difference between me missing my flight or not, which I did. I got to O'Hare about ten after six, got my boarding pass from the machine in quick order, and got in the security line, which was conveniently stretched all the way to the check-in machines. I called Steve and Scot, who had gotten there much earlier to let them know that I was in line and hopefully would not be too long. They said it took about twenty minutes for them to get through security. It took me over an hour. Even though the plane was delayed, I didn't get to the terminal until ten minutes after it had left. So a trip to the opposite end of the terminal and three hours later, I was on the next flight to Knoxville, and other than lunch I didn't miss a ton.

So now I'm back at the hotel after a very filling dinner and am about to head down to the lounge to use my free drink coupon with Steve and Scot. Tomorrow we'll be spending some more time at the call center before hopping on a return flight (Knoxville's airport is a little faster to get through) and getting home in the evening.