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Archived Entries from July 2007


Anniversary

Thirteen years. Time flies when you're (we're) having fun, I guess. How cool is that?

Marc and I went catfishing Saturday evening. Here's a neat shot of him throwing out the net to catch shiners for bait. If you look at the water just to the left of his left knee you can see (in the dark part) a set of ripples--that's a group of the fish up near the surface. Toss the net, the weights drag it down through the water very quickly, and then yank the rope and it collapses and then pull it to the surface. It was actually pretty cool.

We had a great time--we fished until about 1:00 in the morning. We caught five catfish--four channel cats and one blue catfish.

Unfortunately, when we got home at 2:15 a.m. we decided to leave the fish in the live well of the boat with the aerator running. And neither of us got up before 9:00 or so and Marc came down later and told me that the fish were all dead by the time he got up for the day. Whoops. We'll just have to do it again soon and put them in a cooler full of ice as soon as we get home. Oh well.

Yesterday we spent a good part of the day out at the farm (again) picking beans and vegetables from our garden. I'm so glad to finally have home grown tomatoes. Even making fresh salsa with vegetables from the store can't compare. It just doesn't taste the same.

Anyway.

Posted: Monday, July 23, 2007, 11:44 am
Mood: Happy | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment
 


Busy Saturday

I got up at 6:00 this morning and fit 18 holes of golf in before breakfast.

After a couple of eggs and some toast I mowed the front yard, mowed the back yard, trimmed, weeded Em's garden, and weeded around the tuliptree. That area of the yard is going to be difficult to deal with for several years, I think, because there was all sorts of who knows what growing underneath that spruce and I'm sure it's going to be popping out of the mulch as fast as I can dig the stuff out of there. Oh well.

The redhead and Em are up getting dresses fitted (or something) for Aunt Molly's wedding, which is in a few short weeks.

This evening I'm going catfishing with my friend Marc. I'm excited. He normally doesn't keep the fish he catches but I told him I'd be happy to clean them and fry them up. He makes it sound like we'll catch a bunch of fish--we'll see.

My class is over with in less than a week--thank goodness. I'm never taking a class over the summer again.

Monday is our wedding anniversary. Thirteen years. And I'm so fortunate because I'm totally head-over-heels in love with the redhead, and I think she still thinks I'm pretty okay too. How cool is that?

Okay, I'm going to go clean out the tackle box in preparation for filling a boat full of fish tonight.

Posted: Saturday, July 21, 2007, 5:32 pm
Mood: Awesome | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


The University of Illinois

Disclaimer: I'm not going to offer an opinion as to this matter, because I'm too small of a cog in this monstrous machine, and I love my job too much, and well, I'm hardly going to be the person most affected by this.

And if you're not an IT person, you might not appreciate the magnitude of this.

If you are, hold onto your seat.

We were informed today, by "the powers that be," that in a short while we are going to undertake a rather massive change on campus.

We're no longer going to be uiuc.edu.

We're going to be illinois.edu.

While we have two other campuses, uic.edu and uis.edu, it was deemed that people "out there" think of "The University of Illinois" solely as the Urbana-Champaign campus. And that, no offense, other two campuses (there are actually more--there's a medical school campus in Rockford, IL), but we're "The University of Illinois." Their thoughts, again, not necessarily my own.

Again, I'm not saying anything one way or the other.

But this is going to be a massive undertaking. And one that affects someone even as lowly on the IT food chain as myself.

We were told today.

The transition starts in two weeks.

Hang on tight. This could be a bit bumpy...

Posted: Friday, July 20, 2007, 1:27 am
Mood: Curious | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Rainy Day

Our daughter has been under the weather for the past few days with an awful sore throat among other things. The redhead took her to the doctor yesterday. The good news is that she doesn't have strep throat. The bad news is that it's probably a viral infection so they can't give her anything for it.

She didn't sleep well at all last night, and when she finally did get to sleep she apparently had a nightmare that woke her up (she's not normally prone to having bad dreams). Since the redhead stayed home yesterday I offered to take a turn today, which works out pretty well since both my bosses are out of town "rating roots" in northern Illinois (don't ask) so if there were a good day to not be at work, this is just as good as any.

And I've been quite productive. I emptied and loaded the dishwasher a couple of times, cleaned up the kitchen, washed and dried and folded a few loads of laundry, picked up our bedroom, made the kids lunch, went to the store and Dollar General, and even went up to chat with the publisher of the local newspaper to see if he could help me out with writing the "history' section of the web site I made for the country club (www.tricitycc.com).

I also finally got around to registering a web site for our extended family, www.greifenkamp.com. Of course, I obviously don't have enough going on right now--may as well add a few more web sites to the mix....

Well I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for my summer class, which is a good thing. Sheesh.... Two more semesters to go...

And then the discussion about graduate school will heat up again. I have several obvious options ahead of me. 1. Finish at UIS in May, take the summer off, and start graduate school the following fall. 2. Finish up at UIS in May, take the summer and the whole next year off, and start grad school in the fall of 2009. 3. Don't go to grad school at all. I think the redhead would prefer 3 the best, and settle for 2. I'm considering 2 but think 1 is probably the best idea.

The sooner I start, the sooner I'll be finished. And I think if I take a year off, I won't ever do it.

My daughter has a problem with having too high of expectations about things and then ends up disappointed when it all doesn't work out as she had planned. And that's not her fault--she totally, 100% gets that from me.

We both drive the redhead crazy. Well, I drive her crazy--she loves the geerow too much and knows that the only reason she's that way is because of me. But we are both planners. Long-term planners.

My plan, you ask? It goes something like this....

Finish UIS in May of 2008. Start graduate school at UIUC in September of 2008. Start Em at University Laboratory High School as soon as she can get in (assuming she can get in), hopefully maybe in the fall of 2009 when she's in 7th grade. Get both kids into UIUC where their tuition cost will be cut in half because I'm (hopefully still) employed there.

I'll finish up graduate school in five years.

If all goes as planned with the kids, Alex will finish college when I'm 48 and Em when I'm 49. And by that time I'll have two more degrees under my belt, along with a whole lot more years of experience.

Then we can sell this house to Molly and Cole, who will most surely have kids old enough to swim by that point, and the redhead and I can go anywhere we want to.

Now here's where my plan gets more grandiose.

Back when I was working at Illinois Power, before I started at UIUC, I hatched a plan to buy some land and build a summer home. Now, of course, it's been five or six years and that plan is no closer to fruition than it was when it hatched. We've talked about buying a house on a lake, but I think that will be way too expensive. What I want to do is find 15-20 acres of "hunting land" and buy it, start clearing trees from the middle, maybe camp there during the spring and summer for a few years, and then maybe have enough land cleared to build a cottage. Eventually I'd like to dig out a 2-5 acre pond as well. It will be a lot of work, but more than worth it.

Since I'm not going ot be able to afford a $250,000 second home any time soon.

The ultimate plan? Retire to my retreat in the woods.

Yes, I know it is silly for a 37-year old to be talking about where I am going to live when I'm retired, but I did mention about being a planner, didn't I?

And after the kids are finished up with school, the redhead and I can go anywhere, theoretically. North Carolina, Oregon, hell--even Alaska if we wanted to.

We've now finished the first year of financing with the Torrent, and plan for it is still to unload it before the three year warranty is up, and get something else--possibly a Nissan Murano.

I'm going to try to keep the Aurora going as long as I can. And then it will get dumped for a Toyota, and I'm never buying another domestic car ever again.

Anyway. I have more towels to fold, so I should stop daydreaming and get busy....

Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2007, 8:25 pm
Mood: Happy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


One Week

What a week. Busy, busy, busy. We got back home on Monday, and I got back to the grind at work on Tuesday. With the bosses out in the field I might have guessed that it would have been a relatively easy week, especially considering that it was only four days long. That wasn't the case. Between school and some major web applications that I'm working on, I was pretty much swamped all week. And four days felt like a longer-than-normal five days.

But the weekend is here, finally. Em and the redhead went to get new glasses this morning, and then they are attending wedding shower two of three for Aunt Molly. Alex is going to a friend's house in about an hour, and shortly after that, I'll be hitting the golf course.

Oh, I have pictures from our trip to New York, if anyone is interested. They can be viewed here.

Phew. What a week. What a summer. I hate to say it, but I'm about ready for fall. Maybe everything will lighten up a bit in two weeks when my class is over with....

Posted: Saturday, July 14, 2007, 4:12 pm
Mood: Busy | 2 comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Windows Networking

Okay, I'm absolutely not creating a Windows category on my main web site, but I need to write down the following because I always forget and jump through more hoops than needed.

To find the NIC of a network device in Windows XP:

Start Menu --> Settings --> Network Connections

Pick the network connection you want, right-click and select "Status."

Click Support tab.

Click "Details" button.

Grrr... And if the wireless card isn't connected to a network, because there aren't any in range, the "status" menu item is grayed out.

So open a Command Prompt window and type "ipconfig /all".

And even if it isn't connected (the device might still need to be enabled, however) it will list all the network devices and their NIC addresses.

Phew.

Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2007, 7:11 pm
Mood: Okay | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Confused

We made it back home safe and sound today. More about that later.

I've been laying in bed, trying unsuccessfully to go to sleep.

I just made the rest of this post private. It's of no use to anyone but me, and getting it off my chest served it's purpose.... (And for those of you who didn't read it and are confused, it wasn't a big deal--nothing to worry about. I'm just weird sometimes....)

Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2007, 4:38 am
Mood: Confused | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Fourth Leg

So I'm in a hotel, with the family, a time zone away from home. And it's 4:00 a.m. local time, and 4:00 a.m. is when I can't seem to sleep. How odd.

On Friday we drove for 8 hours to Findley Lake, New York. It's in the far western part of New York state (and for the umpteenth time, everyone who argues with me about how I'm crazy and it will take 15 hours, not 8 hours, it is not New York City, and I promise that it will only take 8 hours...). It was literally 2 miles into New York coming from the west. And yes, it took 8 hours, not 15 or 16. Sheesh. I can use Yahoo! maps, for crying out loud.

So anyway, we went to a birthday party for my 1-year old nephew, Richard. My sister's husband's brother owns a wonderful 10-room house right on the lake.

We had a fabulous time. I even had some fun on water skis--photos to come (lots of photos). You know you're old when you can say "yeah, it's been twenty years since I've...." And I'm still feeling it this morning. I'm so unbelievably out of shape it isn't funny.

We decided to break the return trip in half, so last night we arrived in Columbus, Ohio. We went out for lunch and dinner, which was fun. We may or may not go visit Ohio State tomorrow before heading home on the fourth and final leg of the Amazing Race. I like to visit schools and get sweatshirts as souvenirs, but even though we're like 10 minutes away, tomorrow morning I may just be in the mood to turn left and head the rest of the way back home. Okay, it is tomorrow morning--five hours from now when everyone wakes up, I may just be in the mood....

My body is so sore from water skiing. And I'm wide awake. And I'm starving. Ugh.

I should probably go lay back down and try to sleep for a few more hours. While this fourth leg will be the most familiar of the trip (once we get to Indy we're home free, and there's no turns between here and there), I should still probably be fully rested before getting behind the wheel.

I'll post more, as well as pictures, once we're safely back in Illinois (where people understand that fast-moving traffic stays on the left, and slow-moving traffic stays on the right--sheesh).

Posted: Monday, July 09, 2007, 8:08 am
Mood: Tired | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Fourth of July 2007

No time for a long post right now, but if you're interested in Fourth of July party photos, here they are.

Apparently we're going to let the redhead re-write the captions and we'll have an alternate set for view. Her's will be funnier.

Or more funny. Who is the rhetoric major? Actually, technically I'm a computer science major. I'm a rhetoric graduate. How pathetic is that?

Stay tuned...

Oh, and this blogging "software" goes into production at work tomorrow for a private site being used by a couple of my bosses and a number of corn producers. I'm a bit pleased by having all of this working already, to be honest. Oh, custom blogging software? Yeah, I already have that code....

Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2007, 2:32 am
Mood: Awesome | 2 comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


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