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Archived Entries from August 2009


Back on the Horse?

Just got back from running. I didn't feel like I had time for all of the starting and stopping that I normally do when I'm being lazy so I ran down to the park, ran a lap, then ran up Henson, down Willow, and back home. It was a little over a mile total. It felt pretty good.

I think part of my problem is lack of energy. Not like in general, but maybe just for running. Like, I don't get winded any more when I'm running. It's not a breathing/heart out-of-shape thing (I've been back home for all of two minutes and as far as I can tell my breathing and heart rate are already back where they normally are at rest.) But it is more like I don't have the energy to keep going, or something. Should I be eating a banana or something beforehand? Or some sort of breakfast bar? How quickly does that get turned into energy anyway? I always felt like it was best to go running on an empty stomach, but that might be a high school track team thing.

Anyway. I need to get in the shower and get all gussied up for our lunch date today with my wife's friend from work. I'm actually going to put on a shirt and tie. Sort of an inside joke, I guess. (But I wonder what people at work will think? Wonder if anyone will say anything...)

Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2009, 12:09 pm
Mood: Content | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment
 


Hanging On...

I bet if the redhead got me to get over to Walgreen's after lunch tomorrow to get some more Wort my doldrums might subside somewhat. I just don't think to do it. It sucks that Dollar General stopped selling Wort, for whatever reason. I'm too stubborn and am enough of the pain in the ass for this to be psychosomatic.

I know in my brain that things are okay, but I don't feel that they are. There are worse problems than a leaky dishwasher.

And while I'm not getting a raise this year, or next, my job is pretty cushy. It could be a lot worse.

So speaking of my job... I have a problem. It's been running as a background process for most of today after my primary processor ran to a grinding halt.

Suppose I have a system that lets a user enter data for a certain date and for a certain site in a given county in the state. Different users can enter different data for different sites. The kicker--some of the dates won't be the same. So one person might enter data on Monday, and the other person might enter data on Tuesday and Friday.

And I need to draw a table (on a web page) with dates down the left side and sites across the top, and display the data for the entire county. (Presumably I could put "n/a" for dates/sites with nothing entered).

I'm having a hard time coming up with that query. I don't know that I can do it with a single query. So do I have to do the yucky query inside the loop of another query yuckiness?

I ran yesterday. I plan on running tomorrow. I'm wiping all of the 5k races off of the calendar for this year. I have house stuff and work stuff and other stuff to deal with. The goal of all of this was to not die of a heart attack. I think I'm at least achieving that much.

I need to go make a doctor appointment to get something for my flight jitters since I have to go to L.A. in October. And somebody other than me is for sure going to be driving me to the damn airport. And I'm afraid of the flying part? Sheesh.

The golf cart is on its last leg. The batteries used to get me through 27 holes if needed but now barely make 9. And something was burning/stinking when Em and I went down to the course the other night (yep, after I griped about not having any desire to even golf--made myself go--see, I need to get more Wort). I need to save about two grand before next golf season. I'm pretty sure I can do it. I need to pay Papa for the half-cow for this year (that is almost gone--Yikes!) and see if we can do an entire cow for next year since Alex eats his weight in beef about every four days.

I'm hanging on. Go, redhead, go. You're awesome.

Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2009, 3:16 am
Mood: Okay | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Funkified

I feel like a total whiner lately, but seriously.

The dishwasher was leaking, and for weeks we've had the bottom faceplates removed with a bowl on the ground to catch the water. I ordered a new door gasket thing (for sixty freakin' dollars) and took the door apart and cleaned all the gunk out of everywhere and removed the old gasket and pretty much got everything nice and neat and clean and put it all back together.

And it was great--no leaks--for about two full cycles. So now the baseplates are removed and the bowl has returned and I've sent an e-mail to the "guru" at the on-line appliance parts web site.

Fantastic.

I did find the leak in the roof, however. The rubber boot thing that goes around the mezzanine plumbing vent was cracked. Since the local hardware store probably doesn't have anything like that in stock I just got a tube of silicone caulk and gobbed it up pretty good yesterday afternoon. I guess that's not fixed for sure either--we'll see when it rains again.

I canned seven pints of salsa and seven jars of kosher dill pickles today, which is cool I guess. At least that went off without a hitch.

I still haven't been running. It's like I don't have any motivation to do much of anything. Hell, it's 71 degrees and sunny and I have nothing to do and I don't even feel like going and playing golf for crying out loud.

End of summer blues? It's possible that work is the culprit. The state's finances are in such disarray that we're not only not getting raises this year, but certainly not getting raises next year either, and possibly being forced to take mandatory furlough days.

Yet the president of the University is getting a $475,000 bonus this year for five years of being there. I've been there seven years. Nobody gave me a bonus. Oh well.

At least the redhead is getting promoted. Her patience has paid off. I won't get too much into the situation but I'll suffice to say that over the next year she's going to move up (we think) at least two office classifications. After being at the Big U for a mere three years or so she's going to attain a level that usually takes people 10-15 years or more, and that some often never reach before retirement. So good for her. Her University career is really taking off and I would never, ever say "I told you so."

Class number four of graduate school starts tomorrow. I just need to be patient with my career and finish up grad school and worry about what happens after that. The redhead will be getting two very substantial pay increases as she jumps up her classifications and she's guaranteed two raises a year beyond that, thanks to the whole union thing.

Maybe I'll force myself to get up and run tomorrow and really make a concerted effort to get back on the horse.

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009, 8:57 pm
Mood: Irritable | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Jury Duty

My wife wants nothing more than to be called for jury duty. I think she thinks the intrigue and drama of a huge CSI-like case would be totally interesting, and well worth giving up a few days of her life.

We don't have "them kinda cases" down around "these here parts." Not much happens in Douglas County, Illinois.

Either way, my wife, who has lived in "this here" county her entire life, with the exception of a year or two in the county just to the north, would like nothing more than to be called for jury duty.

And the jury pool people sent a letter to our house today.

Addressed to ME.

Tee hee.

And it wasn't a summons. No, no. Let me back up. We are a teeny tiny county in rural Illinois with very, very few, well, possibly "exciting" cases. The guys that shot the Tommy Martin, a sheriff's deputy--that was probably pretty intense. If they ever catch who killed Ryan and Prosse, that might be a big deal (but is Christman even in Douglas County?).

At any rate. I got a questionnaire, one that said I was obligated to fill it out and that if I didn't I would be summoned to the courthouse to fill it out. Seriously? They're going to come "get me?"

Not that I wouldn't fill it out. And I did. Sorry to be picky, but check out the first thing I noticed:

I think I'm a little late for that date (and yes, I did circle it...). Even the date on the upper left--December of last year? Or is that just the last time they verified where I live?

I filled it out--quite innocuous enough. But I went back and looked at one part and it sort of bothered me. Section D--Biological Information. (Really? They can't just look all that up? They are the courthouse, after all...).

Age, date of birth, sex, etc. But then "Number of Children." I had to list my immediate family (which I guess is no longer my parent(s) but instead my spouse and the offspring). Relationship and ages.

No big deal. The courthouse has all this already. And it's not like it's a secret.

Then when re-checking my answers, to make sure I made no mistakes, right under the Section D heading I saw this: "Your answers to these questions will be provided to the court and parties should you be selected to serve as a juror."

Whoa-ho-ho.

Will be provided to the court is okay. A) You already know all this and B) By filling out the form and sending it to the court I'm assuming that I've already provided it whether or not I'm called to be on a jury.

But to the "parties?"

While it's no secret that I am married and have two kids... (Even sort of funnier that I'm talking about it here, a place easily found googley-wise..). This, to me, smacks of "here's the family your gang members need to go hack up if you get sentenced to prison."

Whoa. Again.

I understand that my occupation, or what I have and haven't done in my life, might affect whether or not a prosecutor or a defense attorney might want me juror-ising on a case. But WTF do the ages of my kids, whether or not I have daycare for them if they are under 12, or any of that business, have anything to do with the justice that our forefathers promised us over 200 years ago?

I understand if Derald threw his wife Roxy out of the trailer for the eighth time "too hard" and she filed for a restraining order and he violated it "or some such." But these drug-runners that were on I-57 and tied up Ryan and Jeremy (and Ryan later got murdered and NOBODY knows why or who or how...) and went on to kill Tommy Martin before holing themselves up in some bank in Arcola? No, as far as I'm concerned, there's a lot of public information out there, but there's no need to reiterate mine to them, their lawyer, and their friends and family. As Cole would say, that's just "silly talk."

"By the way, here's the names and ages of the kids of juror number 12. You know, so you can tell your family. Just in case."

I don't have a FOID card. I don't want to need to get one. You people down here can do all of yer "shootin'" and stuff. Leave me, and my wife and kids, out of it.

Is that really how it works?

I was always under the impression that they kept the identities and all the information about those people a bit closer to the chest.

Either way, although it arrived in the mail today, I guess I've already missed the "return by" date.

Sheesh.

Posted: Friday, August 21, 2009, 2:42 am
Mood: Confused | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Worthless and Weak, the Sequel

I ran two days last week, and once again took like four days off afterwards. My motivation right now is awful. I wonder if being between semesters affects my motivation or something.

Last week the battery on the Torrent went bad. I started it up, backed it out of the garage, shut off the car, went inside and retrieved the redhead and my cup of ice water, went back outside, and it was dead in the water. Seriously?

Thankfully the in-laws saved our butts (yet AGAIN) and brought us a car so that we could get to work. I was unable to jump start the Torrent when we got home so I went to Autozone with the dead battery and sure enough it was no good so I bought a new one. Another hundred bucks down the tubes. It seems everything anymore is a hundred bucks down the drain. Oh well.

The point of all that is that I forgot our parking hang tag in the in-laws' car yesterday so this morning I got up and ran out to the farm to retrieve it. It's a little over a mile round trip, and it wasn't too bad. I still need to start running continuous distances over a half-mile at a time if I'm ever going to run a 5k. School starts up for me again next Monday--maybe that will get my blood flowing again and return my motivation.

One thing I'm not motivated about right now is work. And I'm still paranoid enough that I'm not going to complain about all the details on my blog. Suffice it to say, there's some "unfairness" going on, and if there's anything I (or Em!) can't stand, it's when things aren't fair. Oh well.

I have my health, I guess.

Posted: Tuesday, August 18, 2009, 12:10 pm
Mood: Grouchy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Worthless and Weak

Needless to say, Niedermeyer wouldn't be happy with me right now.

I haven't run since last Wednesday, the morning before we took our short jaunt to Chicago. Now it's Tuesday and I've gotten back on the horse, but it wasn't pretty. I didn't come close to getting through a complete workout. It can't possibly just be that I've taken 6 days off. I promise that my neighbor Peggy could not run for six months and get up the next morning and go run five or ten miles with no problem. So what's my problem? I can't even get back to two miles.

I don't think I'm going to be up for the Arthur Cheese Festival "Rat Race" which is in about three weeks. Atwood's run is this weekend, so that's no good. And the Arcola Broom Corn Festival 5k is the weekend after Arthur's race, and I still doubt I'll be able to run 3 miles by then.

The Camargo Wooly Worm Festival is October 3rd. That might be doable. That's in about 8 weeks. I'm going to need to stick with it, though, and get over this 2-mile hump.

For the most part, this just plain sucks. I really need to get my first 5k done at Camargo, because the following week... Oh shit. The following week (the next day!) I have to go to Los Angeles for the Adobe MAX conference. Hmm. Having to leave on Sunday shouldn't affect whether or not I can run a race Saturday morning, right?

What I was going to write is that I need to do the race on the 3rd because it will be my absolute last chance to get a race in while running in the 30-39 category because the day I fly back from L.A. I turn the big 4-0. Yikes.

Okay, I need to run to the store and get stuff for breakfast for the k-farts.

Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2009, 11:51 am
Mood: Hungry | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment
 


Glen Ellyn

A while back I took an ill-fated train trip to Carbondale to help my dad with putting Louis' new Ikea bed together at his new summer apartment.

It was awful. I maybe blogged about it. Basically the train was like four hours late and the bed was put together before I even got down there (and the a/c stopped working on the train, and it just sucked).

So I got a $30 coupon out of the deal after I complained on their web site.

I didn't want a coupon. I just offered feedback. I never planned to use the awful Amtrak service EVER again.

Well the -- I've talked about all of this.

So today was the day. Molly took the kids and I to the train station about 30 minutes before departure, which would have been perfect but the train itself was stuck behind a freight train in Mattoon, about 20 miles south of us. Fantastic.

The train ride itself wasn't very good. It went slow, and stopped and sat a lot, and when it was going fast it felt like it was going to fly off the tracks. But we made it. And once I got my bearings outside Union Station and realized what time it was, we pulled an Amazing Race-like gait and hurried to the Northwestern station (sorry, it's now the Ogilvie Transportation Center or something like that) . We made the 2:40 with two minutes to spare (and the next train would have been an hour later--they only run express trains during rush hour...).

We had a great dinner and then went to one of the malls to get hats before tomorrow's game. I finally got my size 7 1/2 fitted Sox cap (awesome).

The Sox dominated in the first two games and while I'd love the sweep I almost hoped that they'd lose today so that they could win tomorrow, because it's so hard to sweep a team, especially one as hot as the Angels. But we'll see. Go Sox!

I miss the Earth so much. I miss my wife.

And I even have the kids with me. We played a lot of pool at Grandpa Don's. (After having a fantastic steak dinner--the second one in a row for us!).

I'm worried about my dad. A lot of what I'm thinking can't be put to my blog. Which means it stays stuffed up in me, of course. It's weird. I don't know.

I should go to bed. The big game is tomorrow. I'm very, very excited. Let's go, Sox!

Posted: Thursday, August 06, 2009, 5:26 am
Mood: Okay | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Ag Days

Well, Alex and the redhead and I went up to Ag Days on Saturday to look around and get something to eat. Em was already up there as she and the rest of the junior high cheerleaders were working at some tent doing face painting or some such.

Ag Days is pretty comical. Imagine the rinky-dinkiest little town festival you can. This is even more rinky dink than that. Clay County Amusements brings the same rides year after year (along with the same group of carnies--gross!). The food vendors pretty much all sell the same stuff--corn dogs, pork burgers, funnel cakes, and lemon shake ups (which the redhead loves and I don't understand because it is essentially a cup of water with a couple spoonfuls of sugar and a half of a lemon floating in it. Plain ol' lemonade would work fine for me...). Some of the vendors looked like they had cleaned out their garages and were just selling whatever they found. Really? An used VHS copy of Flubber? Who would want to buy that?

Well there was one new "vendor" that I noticed.

You can't see it on the sign on the top but I think it said something like "Only Two Questions" reveals the answer.

I'm pretty sure I already know the answer for me. And I'm pretty sure that it's (no pun intended...) "hell, no." Tee hee.

I don't know if they were mormons or what. I think Molly might have gone and played their questionnaire game.

The pre-beer tent get-together was a success. The beer tent itself, well, not so much. And I'll leave it at that. Oh well. Stupid Facebook.

I signed up for the Adobe MAX conference today, so it looks like I am going to L.A. for sure now in October. I'm still not sure if I'm excited about it or not.

Posted: Monday, August 03, 2009, 5:41 pm
Mood: Amused | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Running

I think skipping the Ag Days run was a bad thing. I've been skipping two days between runs lately, and that's not getting me anywhere. I'm back in a rut of running 1/2 mile, walking 1/4, running 1/2, walking 1/4, and running 1/2. Except today I only finished one of the 1/2 mile running parts (the middle one, go figure). I need to get back on running every day, and get back on the C25k plan.

The broom corn race is September 7th and the one at the Arthur cheese festival is on the 13th. I need to just sign up for one of those now and become committed and maybe that will motivate me.

I did watch the Ag Days runners from the porch while I was reading the paper Saturday morning. Some of them were pretty quick. Of course some high school coach (I presume) was walking up the street yelling at everyone "keep up the pace," "kick it, kick it," etc. Dude. Shut up. This is a quiet little neighborhood and it is 8:00 in the morning on a weekend. I don't come to YOUR neighborhood and scream at 8:00 in the morning. I don't give a crap if there is a race or not. Go down at the park and scream at your runners there. So that was irritating. Anyway.

I need to get a fire lit under my butt. Something has to change. This is ridiculous.

Posted: Monday, August 03, 2009, 12:27 pm
Mood: Irritated | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


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