Journal

Spring 2007

Friday, June 29th

It's almost time! I've been waiting for the past month to ride my motorcycle, looking at it each morning in the garage on my way to the car that I'm less and less pleased with. Tonight is the first day of my motorcycle rider class, and the first day of the next step towards finally getting on my bike and going for a ride. The class is tonight after work, then tomorrow and Sunday for ten hours each. Fortunately I managed to get into a fairly close location, but it'll still be a bit of a drive from home.

This last weekend we went down to my mom's to celebrate my birthday as well as my sister's. We were planning to go to the beach but it rained so we went shopping in Michigan City instead. I managed to get some good stuff, though, like a new blender, some jeans, some dress shoes that'll come in handy for the weddings we'll be going to this summer. We also found some cheese slicer wires, which was pretty fortunate since the last one just broke on mine and I'm rather fond of it.

Monday, June 18th

This past weekend was a busy one. Saturday Sarah and I went downtown to meet up with her friend Tina, and then headed to the beach. Some Frisbee, relaxing, and a lot of walking later, we came back home and cleaned in time for Sarah's family to arrive for a Father's Day get-together. Her brothers stayed the night in a LAN-party attempt that was mostly stymied by my computer. Mid-last week my hard drive died, and I swapped in a temporary replacement that already had Windows installed. Getting that installation usable finally proved not worth it and I reinstalled. We managed to get in a game of Rise of Nations before I turned in. Sunday was a bit quieter, with some walking around the neighborhood, deep conversation, shopping for motorcycle gear, and a movie.

Friday, June 15th

We had our camping trip to Devil's Lake last weekend. We went up on Thursday and came back Sunday. There was some good hiking, great camp fires, and beatiful weather. We also returned to a really cool creek in a ravine that we had been to a couple years ago. Mike and Jessica brought Gannon and he had a blast running in the water. We took the ferry on the way up, which none of us had been on. It was cool so we decided to take it on the way back too, not realizing the difference in traffic between a Thursday and a Sunday until we got in line.

Work is really busy, which is pretty typical, but a lot of things are changing at the same time. We got a new manager a few weeks ago. Our senior director, Brian, left yesterday. We're finally getting a new team member after losing three. There seem to be some other changes on the horizon as well. It isn't clear yet what all of this means, or if it's just another day at the office. There's a lot to deal with, and I want to make sure I'm dealing with it in the most positive way I can.

Monday, June 4th

Thursday Sarah and I helped Scott and Talia move in to their apartment, though it was really more just unloading the truck into the living room. They weren't impressed by the state of the apartment when they got there, so Saturday while their landlord got the place cleaned up and livable, we all went to breakfast at Svea's and then they came over to use the shower and hang out for a while.

Friday we went to Sarah's youngest brother Will's high school graduation and yesterday we painted the last wall of the living room, leaving just the office to be painted. There's some touching up to be done too, but at least I won't need to move the tv again. I also spent some time working on my web page, something I've been doing more recently. We've also been going for walks more since the weather has been nice.

This is a short week since we're going to Devil's Lake on Thursday for a long weekend of camping with friends. I'm really looking forward to it since it's been a couple of years since we've been there. All of the weekends in June have already filled up and we're starting to book July.

Tuesday, May 22nd

This weekend's bike (bicycle) trip was a lot of fun. We went from Elroy to a couple miles past Wilton, or about 20 miles. I hadn't been on the trail before, which features a few tunnels since it is one of the earliest "rails to trails" bike paths. My only complaint was that the seat on the bike I borrowed was not at all comfortable and by the end of the ride I was in a lot of pain. The weather was good, we managed to avoid getting tick bites despite the infestation at Sarah's parents property, and we stopped at a local cheese factory (chalet) for some tasty cheese.

Yesterday was a working from home day for me as the roofer finally showed up to fix the leak we've been dealing with for a year or so now. Hopefully it's resolved; it sounded like he pretty much sealed up everything in the vicinity that might be causing it.

Today I'm back in the office and working on some nagging items. Time is zipping past and I'm having a hard time staying on top of things in a reasonable time frame. I'm combatting this in my personal life by putting more things into Sisyphus in the hope of resolving some things that I've left unfinished for too long.

Wednesday, May 16th

I've been pretty busy recently. Sarah and I were painting all last week, getting the living room nearly done except for one wall. It's looking really nice, and our party went off well, even if it was a bit small. After all the work we did, we were pretty tired, and small was ok with us.

Sunday we went down to my mom's for Mothers Day where my sister and I put together her new grill and did some yard work for her before a nice dinner and driving home. Monday night I drove up to meet Mike and Eriq for coffee in Kenosha, and we had some good conversation over bad coffee. I miss doing that every week the way we used to. Monday night I didn't sleep well at all and Tuesday morning I woke up all kinds of sore, presumably from all the painting and yard work so I wound up taking the day off. Today I'm still kind of stiff but I'm back at work and we're going to go see Spider-Man 3 tonight.

We're taking a bit of a break from painting, since this weekend we're going on a bike trip with Sarah's family up in Sparta, WI, the next weekend is Memorial Day, and the weekend after that we're going camping at Devil's Lake.

Tuesday, May 8th

Saturday I bought a motorcycle. This was not what I planned to do this past weekend, but I'm glad it happened. I opened up Craigslist looking to see how much used Vespas cost (Sarah wants one) and happened to notice a great deal on a Suzuki SV650 in really good shape. After a quick call to Eriq to confirm this sounded as good as I thought it did and that he could help me get it home, I called up the seller. I wound up buying it on Saturday, and on Sunday Eriq and Mo drove down so that Eriq could ride it back to my place.

So now I have a bike in my garage. Yesterday I signed up for the rider class at the end of June (the earliest opening available), and I have a list of other requirements (title, registration, plates, license, helmet, jacket, insurance, etc) that I'll be working through to get ready to start riding in July.

The rest of the weekend was good as well. As I said we saw Eriq and Mo on Sunday, we also had Chris and Tina over Saturday for grilling and some gaming, and got the house all cleaned up. This week we're trying to finish painting the rest of the condo before this Saturday, when we're having a party for our respective co-workers. So far we've gotten the bathroom and the hallway done, and we taped the ceiling in the livingroom, but we've got a lot to do yet.

Monday, April 30th

It's been busy around here for the past couple weeks. Work has been full of trying to get my project finally finished, along with a new manager, a couple software roll-outs, and the usual endless meetings, side projects, issues, and errata.

Sarah and I went to a benefit last weekend and on the way there the windshield wipers got stuck. I did some reading on how to fix them, took the car apart, and managed to shear off the mounting bracket on my wiper linkage. On the plus side that saved me from having to finish disassembling it and repairing it, but getting the replacement part as well as new windshield wipers and arms because the ones I had sucked, plus the general challenge of working on unfamiliar German engineering meant I didn't get it put back together until yesterday. I drove Sarah's car last week, which served to remind me how nice my car is, if nothing else.

We also painted the bedroom this weekend. It does look really nice, though we had planned on painting more than just the bedroom. We're going to try and get the rest done in the next couple weeks ahead of a party we're throwing for coworkers. I've been meaning to paint since I moved in, but the effort involved was a little intimidating. After doing the one room, I remember why. I really don't look forward to tearing up the living room to get it done, but I'm sure it will be worth it when it's done.

Friday, April 13th

It's that time of year again, and I'm in Las Vegas for work. Sarah and I came out Saturday so that we could get a nice little vacation in before she flew back on Wednesday morning when the conference started. Steve and his wife Kathryn did the same thing, so the four of us drove out to Hoover Dam, went to dinner at Mortons Steakhouse, and had some fun at the slot machines. Sarah and I also did a whole bunch of shopping, saw Wayne Brady, and went to Red Rock Canyon, one of my favorites Vegas spots that Sarah hadn't seen before.

The conference I'm here for is Manage Fusion and it's held at Caesar's Palace. Unfortunately the discount rate at the hotel only extended to Sunday night, and since we didn't want to pay the regular Saturday rate (seriously, go check), we decided to stay at the Venetian instead. I was really impressed. While the night life is kind of crappy and the pool closes at 6pm, the rooms are great and a lot nicer than Caesars, not just because they are bigger, but down to the bathroom, the towels, the bedding, and the television it's just really swank. Plus, it was only a little bit more than the discount rate and a hell of a lot less than the regular rate at Caesars.

The last couple days Steve and I have been at the conference, mostly visiting with product managers and trying to find out what they are doing about quality (putting it into the next version). Outside the conference we had a nice dinner at Joe's Stone Crab, went to Pure, a night club, and I finally recovered my losses from two years ago playing slots. I am now officially net positive on this city by about $5, not including legitimate costs like hotels and food.

Tuesday, April 3rd

This weekend was awesome. Friday night we hopped in the car and drove up to Milwaukee to see Peaceful Warrior with Eriq, Mo, Mike, and Jessica. After that we headed out to Madison and spent the night with Mike and Jessica. Saturday into Sunday was Mike's LAN party, with PC, Xbox 360, and Wii gaming, plus some file trading and general socializing. My power supply died when I tried to power on my computer so we had to go on an errand to get a new one, which sucked since it was only a year old. We also spent a lot of time getting the PC games to work for everyone, but that's kind of how those things go. I think having everyone get the games working beforehand would have been a better way to go.

In any case it was a lot of fun, we ate way too much junk food, and played a lot of games. Sunday we got up late, Mike and I tinkered around getting his Apple TV to talk to his Windows Server, then we went out to eat before heading back home. All in all a good weekend.

This coming weekend we'll be in Las Vegas for ManageFusion. The spring has been nice one day and cold and rainy the next, so I'm looking forward to some sun and 80° weather, not to mention all of the fun that Vegas always brings.