Fall 2007

Friday, December 28th

I'm back from Minnesota. Sarah and I went up on Saturday and got back late Tuesday night. We had a good Christmas. It was good to see family and have a few days of haning out and not doing too much. It's the sort of thing that you really look forward to doing and is a lot of fun, but you're ok with it being over. I got Sarah a Nintendo Wii and she is getting me a mountain bike, so hopefully I'll be hitting the trails again next summer. If only there was a way to put the mountain bike on the motorcycle and ride up there to go riding...

Today I'm back at home with just a few days left before I have to go back to doing that thing... starts with a 'W'. Uh, whu-work? Anyway, I'm still enjoying my time off with some games, some movies, and some web coding.

Thursday, December 13th

Ahh. I haven't updated my Journal in a bit, but I now have some time to do it. I'm enjoying my first day of vacation. I'm up early, drinking some tea and getting ready to start my day. I'm making a list of things I want to do while on vacation. Nothing too crazy since I mostly want to relax and take it easy, but there are some things I want to get done as well.

There's not a whole lot to report from the last couple weeks. The project is mostly closed barring some bugs and some support handoff, but I don't need to think about it until after the new year, so I don't really care right now.

Sarah's computer (my old computer) went down in crazy striped blue glory and wouldn't boot back up just two weeks after I set it up. Knowing it was a flaky power supply I was afraid it had fried the motherboard, but it turned out to be just a stick of memory that had been zapped. So she's running with a new power supply and a gig less ram, but getting back up and running for not too much money is always good. In the process we found an awesome computer store called MicroCenter. It's actually a chain but I haven't seen them before. Now that CompUSA is dead, I'm relieved to find there's at least somewhere I can go to get parts if I need them.

Wednesday, November 28th

It's been a busy couple of weeks. Two weekends ago we went down to my mom's in Indiana. We helped her with some stuff around the house that she needed help with, I installed some memory in her computer, and we had a nice dinner. the following Monday we started painting the office, which took us three evenings and some followup on Thursday morning. We had Thanksgiving at our place, using the office as a dining room with the desks as a table. Sarah's family came down and my mom came up. It was a crowded affair, but it was good to have everyone over. Friday my mom and I went over to my aunt and uncle's house where we spent the day. Sarah did Black Friday shopping with her mom and sister, but made it for dinner.

Saturday we finished touching up the paint in the office before going to first pick up my new computer parts from work, where they had been delivered, and then went shopping in Schaumburg. When we got back I built my new computer and rebuilt the server and in the process managed to pull the wrong hard drive out of my old computer. For reasons still not entirely clear to me the array controller couldn't figure out what had happened and we lost the media drive, about half a terabyte of data that wasn't backed up, including the last six months of pictures. I was really bummed, especially since I had viewed the RAID 5 array as the key to protecting me from data loss.

In any case, don't expect any pictures of Rhode Island, Long Island, or Halloween to be added to XeoMage. Hopefully we can get some of those from other people that had cameras. In any case I finally managed to get the computers set back up, though the sound isn't working on Sarah's computer now which doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Yesterday I went downtown to meet up with Mike, who was in town for training. We went to Harry Caray's for dinner and then got some coffee before I got to see his awesomely creepy hotel room. Now I'm back at work with me finally feeling like the worst of the WIM project is finally behind me. It's only a matter of time before I get mired in something else of course, but for a brief moment I can feel like I'm not drowning.

Tuesday, November 13th

This weekend I took Sarah to Galena for her birthday. We took off Friday to make it a long weekend and stayed at a really nice bed and breakfast. It was great just to get away and relax for a bit. We watched movies, played video games, went shopping, and hiked around at Mississippi Palisades State Park. The Fall colors weren't as good as I had hoped; the trees turned and dropped in the span of a couple weeks this year. It was still beautiful, though, and we had a great time. One of my favorite parts was driving down the curvy, hilly road that led to our inn. I wished I had the bike.

Once again it's back to work. We're going down to my mom's this weekend and then having family over for Thanksgiving. It's amazing how fast the year is going. It feels like it'll be Christmas before I know it. I'm hoping to spend my vacation time at the end of the year making up for some of the missed loafing.

Wednesday, November 7th

I haven't done a good job of updating my Journal as of late. I'm not sure why. Two weekends ago we went to a Halloween party at Michelle and Sean's, which was a lot of fun. We rented costumes from a place near us and I managed to leave my camera in the coat. Fortunately, despite their assurances that they dry clean everything when it comes back and would have found it, when we went back and searched through the coats in the basement Sarah found it right where we expected to. That Sunday we went to Sarah's parents for dinner. Her brother was back from school and it was her Dad's birthday.

This past weekend we went to a new place for breakfast called Tweet. Then we cleaned the house (finally) and have done a decent job of keeping it that way since. Sarah's friend Sen came over and we played some games, first on the Xbox and then Settlers of Catan. Sunday I rode the bike up to Matt B's for a poker game with him, Mike, Sean, and Jeremy. That was a lot of fun, but the riding days are definitely closing out. It was a cold ride back and I even stopped at Gander Mountain to buy some socks.

Work has been more of the same, with the unending WIM project taking up most of my time and everything else kind of piling up and wanting attention in the mean time. Evenings during the week have been mostly routine, with the regular cadre of tv shows, working out, and working on Spark and teaching Sarah html and css. On the positive side I'll be taking off the second half of December and this weekend we're taking Friday off.

Monday, October 22nd

This last week my friend Robert died. I worked with Robert in Waukesha for about five years. He was an exceptionally kind, generous, and fun individual. While I hadn't talked to him that much since I moved, I still feel like there's an absense now. I'll miss him, his joviality, and his smile. This past Friday I went up to Milwaukee to go to a celebration some of his friends were having, since he had insisted there not be a service.

The weekend before last Sarah and I went down to Indiana to go to the Feast of the Hunters Moon, a large settler/trader era reenactment. We spent the night at my mom's and I reinstalled Windows on her computer since it was so awfully slow. I have some more memory for her too; that should help a lot.

This weekend was mostly quiet. Saturday we got up early and went down to the University of Chicago where Sarah was participating in a 5K run through her work. I spent the race cheering her on, eating a bagel and taking some pictures. Yesterday we took the bike down to Orange for breakfast and then rode around looking at some of the neighborhoods we're considering moving to in maybe a couple years.

Last night I beat Episode 2 of Half Life 2. I got the Orange Box through Steam and beat Episode 1, Portal, and with this done as well I'll move on to Team Fortress 2. It's a lot of fun. I don't think I've played a real single player game since Oblivion came out. I'm also working on web development again, after a month or two hiatus. Spark is getting semi-useable, though I'm still coming up with ideas faster than I can code them.

Monday, October 8th

This weekend was my ten year high school reunion. Saturday we drove up to Milwaukee and went to Cafe Vecchio. I saw a lot of people that I haven't seen in years and got to catch up with a few of them. It's amazing how different people look. I knew on the way in that I was going to have a hard time recognizing people, but it wasn't difficult to pick out the ones that I remembered well. It was a lot of fun. Otherwise we took it fairly easy. We went for a jog Saturday afternoon and played frisbee by the lake on Sunday before watching Kung Pow: Enter the Fist.

Last weekend we went up to Sarah's old neck of the woods and went through the purportedly largest corn maze in the world. We also visited her parents before going to Dave and Francine's housewarming party. Other than seeing her parents in New York we haven't spent much time wirth her family in a while so it was good to see them.

Now I'm back at work, still plugging away at Altiris Deployment Server and the newest desktop image. Testing is coming along, but it's frustrating since I don't have all of the hardware I need. That means building an image and then having one of the technicians in Knoxville do the testing and report back to me. It adds a layer of complication to the process, but we're getting there. Hopefully I'll be finally done with it soon, but I'm not holding my breath.