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Archived Entries from September 2009


Work, Work, Work

Work has been crazy busy lately. I knew it was going to get to a point where it was going to pile on, so this isn't unexpected. It's actually a good thing. Too much work beats too little work any day of the week the way things are going. I have friends in somewhat tenuous situations, so just having a job right now lets me sleep at night.

The redhead took her test to move up to a higher classification so that she can get promoted at her job. It's a long story, and I'm not going to get into it now, but if we can all make it through the next couple of years she'll be in fantastic shape. She's going to be jumping classifications and is behind a pretty darn good protective barrier against the way things work, so I'm cautiously optimistic.

Grad school is going well. I just got my first point wrong of the semester, but I was pretty confident on that last quiz so I'll be interested to see what the mistake, if there really was one, was. I'll be halfway through grad school at the end of the year.

I fly to Los Angeles this Sunday for the Adobe MAX conference. And no, I won't be driving myself to the airport Sunday morning. Any volunteers? Heh. It should be a good conference.

All-in-all, I'm actually pretty optimistic about things right now. Five days until flying. It'll be fine. I'LL be fine.

Posted: Wednesday, September 30, 2009, 1:25 am
Mood: Pooped | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment
 


Good Day

(No way, eh?)

I spent the day re-doing a web site using standards compliant CSS. It went very, very well. I'm excited. This stuff is almost (*almost*) becoming second nature now.

The biggest goof I had was stupid. #rightBar in the CSS file and "rightbar" in the HTML page are two different things. No wonder nothing "floated."

Trickier than finding a lost semicolon. At least I can guess when that happens (and a compiler helps--when CSS doesn't "work" it just doesn't "work").

Things are well otherwise. I wish I wouldn't have given up on running, though I'm not upset enough to actually start running again. Sucks.

The kids don't have swine flu but we're skipping the Sox loss, I mean game, on Saturday nonetheless. I'm trying to give the tickets away on Craigslist in case any suburbanites are headed home and want to go see a game for free. I hope I don't come off as a creep.

I hope the kids feel better soon. I'd rather been ten times as sick for a month than have them have to go through stuff like this. At least they are troopers and old enough now that they don't have the "why me?" thing going on. Hang in there, kids.

Stress level: moderate.

I need to find a way to get some rounds of golf in. I think biddy-football ends soon, so maybe Vandeventer and I can start getting out there again on his golf cart that is actually not in any danger of losing its batteries.

I should go to bed but I'm not tired. I haven't been sleeping well lately. Not sure why.

Posted: Friday, September 25, 2009, 3:38 am
Mood: Happy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Six Months

Wow.

Six months ago today I totaled the Aurora while driving to the airport.

I got a ticket for going to fast to avoid an accident or some such thing. I'm glad it was 6:00 a.m. and I was out in the country and nobody (walkers, joggers, bikers, drivers) else were out and about other than me.

I went to traffic school to earn "probation."

That probation ends tomorrow morning. And that means all of this essentially goes away. Except the haunting memory in my head. I wouldn't recommend anyone flip their car--it sucks.

Again, wow. And would you believe that I still think about all sorts of stuff that Bill Emery told us in that class--it really was very worthwhile and I'm much, much less aggressive behind the wheel.

So the kids both have swine flu. We'll be missing the Sox game Saturday, but that's fine--we're now a dozen or so games out and have no chance of making the playoffs and rain is in the forecast Saturday, etc., etc.

And I'd just as soon stay home this weekend and relax.

Next Sunday I have to fly to Los Angeles for the Adobe MAX conference. Should be cool, but I'll be so sick of hearing about ColdFusion and Acrobat and Photoshop by the end of the week that I'll be ready to puke.

What do I hate worse than anything in the world (other than flipping cars)? Flying.

And I get to fly back home on Thursday, October 8th. My 40th birthday. Ugh. Double Ugh.

For the record, Jeffrey will be driving me to the airport on the 4th. I hope things go well in Los Angeles.

Wow. SIx months.

Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2009, 3:49 am
Mood: Surprised | 2 comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Karma? Maybe?

I'm not going to get into the whole sordid situation (maybe I did months ago when it happened?) but several semesters ago a kid that was a member of my fraternity (essentially) got caught by the Champaign police for selling pot out of his room in the fraternity house. My best friend Jeff is/was the chapter advisor and had to deal with the situation the night the "raid" happened and the stupid police actually initially implicated him because they gave him NO details and wanted to know why he was calling the house and asking the people there why the police said they were coming over. So stupid.

Well, this kid got caught. And got arrested. And kicked out of school.

And then our chapter got kicked off campus. A chapter that has been around for almost 100 years. A chapter that lived in a house that was built by the members themselves.

Because of one kid. In one pledge class. Just throw away that hundreds and hundreds--THOUSANDS of kids have graduated from the University of Illinois as members of Phi Sigma Kappa.

Do you think that the Big Ten would kick the U. of I. out of the conference because one kid at the school sold pot? What about the NCAA? Okay, I retract that--the NCAA are a bunch of idiots. Chief Illiniwek is racist but the also "fake" indian on the horse with the flaming spear that is planted at the 50-yard line at Florida State ISN'T racist. No hypocrisy there.

Either way. This has been an exhausting pain in the neck. Because of one kid. It's not the kids' problem. It's Jeff's problem. MY problem. A problem for a lot of people. It's not fair. If someone on, oh, bronze tablet was later found to be dealing Xanax or something, would we just excuse everyone on that plaque? This was hardly something that the organization condoned. What if some kid was selling pot out of a dorm room? Do we get rid of the entire set of dorms?

And it doesn't help that the person that made the final decision is actually a fraternity "brother" from another campus from way back when.

The situation at work has been very, very stressful lately, to say the least, and doesn't look to be getting better any time for the next few years. I'm trying to hang on.

Posted: Tuesday, September 15, 2009, 4:07 am
Mood: Tired | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Happy Football Day!

I have to admit that I sort of stole "happy football day" from my friend and former Cochrane's co-worker Kirk (he had posted it on his Facebook page...).

But yay, I'm on my third game of the day (I switched back and forth between both of the early games) and am very much looking forward to the Bears game on Sunday Night Football tonight. It's about time that we get to play them and actually have the better quarterback. Yay!

Alex and I played golf this morning. FIVE holes. And barely made it home. I think that's probably it. I changed some wire plugs yesterday and fixed the "burning smell" problem, but the decline of the batteries I can't fix. Hope it's a good tax return next year...

Grad school is going well. I'm taking a class on e-commerce and it is really interesting. The best part is that instead of spending $120 on the book I was able to "purchase" (rent?) an e-version of it for half that price (it "expires" in 180 days--well after class ends).

The best part is that it is searchable and we have open-book quizzes. *wink*

I think I need to finally get around to moving the Nerdrium to a css-based design, and increase the width from 600 to 100 pixels (I admit I'm not exactly sure what it is now, but it appears quite narrow compared to other sites, to me, anyway).

I love fantasy football. Normally I wouldn't care less about the useless Seahawks versus the hapless Rams, but I've got T. J. Houshmanzadeh (sp?) so I'm enjoying following along. Well, and it's football season!

Posted: Sunday, September 13, 2009, 9:14 pm
Mood: Happy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Climbing Ladders

I don't know if I'm still sworn to secrecy about this or not (I don't think so, but I'll be somewhat cryptic just in case) but the redhead has been a mover and a shaker at her job recently. Due to some, well, we'll just say "issues" the redhead has been called upon to take command and pilot the ship, so to speak. That involves a bump up in classification in the immediate future and another bump in a year, which is the minimum required time between such bumps. When it is all said and done she'll be in a position that usually takes people 15-20 years in the system to get to. Yay honey! Of course, I, on the other hand, didn't get a raise this year and pretty much already know that I won't get one next year either. How depressing. I know that it could be a lot worse, so I'm trying to just keep my head up, stop reading about the bonuses that the upper administrators are getting this year, and focus on work and grad school and new opportunities that are in the pipeline.

My running has been horrible again. I truly think that now that I don't have a race to focus on that I've, well, lost focus. I ran Sunday, but missed yesterday, and missed this morning as well (and I doubt I'll run when I get home tonight...). I've been trying to go for walks with the dog on days I skip running, but somehow I fear that's just not quite the same thing.

I just need to get motivated again.

In other news, I finally got around to building corn hole toss boards. It was actually pretty easy. I also sewed (can you believe it?) a couple of bean bags using the "beans" out of a few old beanie babies that were scattered throughout closets in the house. Alex is totally hooked. The bags I made aren't going to last long, though, so I need to order a few sets of real ones. I think we're going to go with a White Sox motif instead of the Illini. The kids and I are going up for another game with Grandpa Don at the end of the month and I think we're going to do the whole tailgate thing so I should probably get them ordered sooner rather than later.

My boy turns 14 in a week and a half. Yikes.

Well I finally got around to picking my sessions for the Adobe MAX conference in Los Angeles the first week of October. Lots of neat labs/sessions but I think I'm going to pretty much be sick of ColdFusion/Photoshop/Acrobat and, well, just about all things Adobe by the end of the week. I least I'll get to hook up for a few beers with Hector (one of my fraternity brothers from college who just relocated to the west coast a few months ago). And no, I won't be driving myself to the airport.. Yeesh.

Other than that, I guess I don't know much else. The pool is closed for the year, the a/c has been off for the better part of the month, and none of us have H1N1 flu. Yet.

Posted: Wednesday, September 09, 2009, 2:41 pm
Mood: Happy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Wort

So part of the effect that St. John's Wort has on me is that I tend to worry less about stuff. Lots less. Like I don't even worry about getting more Wort when I run out, because I'm not worried about it.

Then several weeks later, I'm worrying again, and in a funk, and can't explain why.

Duh.

Well I've been back on the Wort and things are now "normal" again. Thank goodness.

I haven't been doing well with the running thing. I've probably said it before but I was more driven when I had a goal--running in the Ag Days race. Now I have less of a direction to head in, which makes motivating myself a bit more difficult. Maybe that was a Wort thing as well. I went for a 1-mile run today, followed up by a walk down to the park and back with the dog. It felt good. I still don't know that I like my new shoes--they're fine when I'm running but when I'm walking afterwards they hurt the arches in my feet. I think they're still too new and I just need to break them in further.

Well, I don't know much else. Hopefully I'll start posting more again now that my mind is cleared up once more. This blog is as much a part of my therapy as the Wort is.

Oh, and I think I'm going to start Twittering. I didn't understand its purpose before, but I think I see now how it complements Facebook. Rather than posting 27 updates per day on Facebook like some childhood friends of mine, I can stick with one important thing every few days and put the rest of the drivel on Twitter. Yeah, see what kind of stuff I'm occupied with now? Yeesh. No more running out of Wort...

Posted: Sunday, September 06, 2009, 3:42 pm
Mood: Content | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


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