Monday, August 29, 2005

Weekend update

I wound up getting to take my day off on Friday for golf, which was nice. Since my team won the outing with a (for the outing) record 8 under score (59 on a par 67 course) it was even better. We had a nice evening out afterwards to boot, punctuated with a visit after dinner to my customer up in Manchester who had an iBook problem. I took it home with me, corrected it, and she came by Saturday afternoon to pick it up.

Saturday I had a nice 30 mile bike ride with Robert and one of his friends to prepare for Harbor to the Bay in three weeks, and yesterday the family went and played at the park for quite a while before the blah weather started to arrive. I'm stag most of this week - Jane and David left to head to New Jersey for a couple of days this morning, and I'm booked up most of the week while they're gone.

Mainly I expect to do some maintenance stuff while they're gone around the house. Last night the garbage disposal in our kitchen suffered a catastrophic failure, so the plumber is coming over at 1 to replace it and I have to finish cleaning up after it. Ah, glamour.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Chasing the little white ball

Whoo-hoo! I'm off tomorrow for a golf outing with my old co-workers!

Due to being wicked busy, I haven't played since the end of June, but no matter - it'll still be a lot of fun. Jane will be joining me tomorrow evening for the dinner afterwards, and thus is likely to end my golf season (I may get out a couple of times in September, but I'm not banking on it).

The four days I did work this week were very eventful. And I'm fully booked for three days already next week so far. I love my job!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Salmon Day

Today was one of those days. It started when I was on my bike ride this morning, and I broke a spoke out at the end of the Nahant causeway. I borrowed a passer-by's cell phone, and called Jane for a ride, but spent plenty of time waiting (like a schmuck, I neglected to bring money or my own phone along today - just my keys and some water). So that hosed much of my morning. Other than a nice interval doing some client work from around noon to 2, it was mainly "blah" all day. My highlight for today was getting a cable at Radio Shack tonight to re-feed my DVD input into the TV - I had to cannibalize my existing one yesterday to feed the new HDTV DVR box we got from the local cable monopoly. It's cool to finally see programming in 1080i, after having the HD set for nearly three years.

On the bright side, though, I got a copy of NASCAR 2003 Season for my Mac directly from Aspyr for only $10, and installed it over the weekend. Add one Logitech Momo Racing Wheel and it's a pretty darned cool game. The iMac G4 can easily keep up with the game even at full resolution - If I ever go to a G5 I can probably crank out sweet detail in the game. Cool stuff. I don't have the force feedback stuff quite worked out yet, though. And I didn't have time to play it at all tonight before David went to bed. It's way too loud for bedtime play.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Whizzing through life

David went potty at school yesterday. He's done it a few times (he refuses at home), but this is the usual pattern when I ask him:

Me: "David, did you go potty at school today?"

David (grinning): "Yeah"

Me: "Are you lying?"

David (grinning even bigger): "Yeah..."

But last night it was: "No! Miss Lindsay said she was very proud of me! I peed!"

So we praised the heck out of him, and this morning when I dropped him off his teacher confirmed it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Nice evenings defined

When I picked up David (a little late, around 5:20), we headed home and met up with Jane, who'd been home about an hour working down in her office. We all collectively decided to get out of the house. So we packed up and started the evening by going to the park with all our stale bread and the like (including some old cereal), and fed the ducks through a fence. They recently had babies. Cool.

That was followed up by some nice beach walking - Jane and David went wading in the surf looking for clams and hermit crabs while I went to find a new knuckle bandage (I'd chopped it open at the office today by accident and it popped again tonight - now I have to get the blood out of my shorts pocket. Yuck). We had to go down to the drugstore for more bandages, so as long as we were there we decided to skip dinner at home and head over to Whole Foods for supper instead. Jane had pizza - David and I had sushi. He loves it - ate almost an entire tuna roll and a piece of the California-style (inside-out, with avocado and sesame seeds) tuna roll that came with my sashimi plate. He even managed to pick up a couple of the pieces with his chopsticks.

We followed that up with a trip to the driving range for the whole family and we all hit golf balls. I haven't played since the end of June, but I was hitting pretty well. There's hope yet for me. When we got home, David took a shower, and then Jane went out to the car and got him his surprise - a huge pile of bubble wrap! There's nothing better when you're three - and we all got to pop some. It'll last a few days. There was that much.

I'll be heading to bed in a few minutes, because tomorrow will be a minimum of a three-stop day. Possibly even four. But tonight did a great job of charging my mental batteries to get ready for it.

Not a trouble-free day

I wound up spending the whole day in the office - the machines are kicking my butt today (it happens, though not often). I've been fighting with a spyware-infested Win2K PC that a person got to keep from his old employer a couple of years ago - except it still has corporate security policies applied, which keeps me from the easy fixes now. I have it flushed, but it won't load the desktop. I can launch any program through Task Manager, except IE - so I can't go out to the Net to do the repair. After trying everything else, now I'm building a custom install of IE6 through IEAK on my Mac (with Virtual PC), and I will copy the resulting install to a USB drive and then bring it over to try rebuilding IE.

Then, more importantly, one of my major accounts had a crisis this morning - yesterday's MS patches (the second Tuesday of the month is Patch Tuesday for Microsoft) broke their Win 2003 SBS server. I think it was the APC agent software that hung it - I worked around the problem today for them and prepped the fix for tomorrow, when their office will be pretty much down for vacations.

Meanwhile, tomorrow I need to arrange a memory purchase for one customer, install Office Pro for another, and set up a wireless printer for a workgroup up at a third. And finish both today's projects. Somehow, among all this I found the time to process two payments I got and write out four of my bills. I have a few more but I need to deal with some other things first. I believe my first company hire will be a good, reliable bookkeeping service - it's taking up way too much of my time nowadays to keep up on billing, collections, and paying the bills.

It's easy when you have few expenses and no customers, but that isn't my problem anymore. Thank goodness.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Look for a rule change next season

With only a few races to go until the "Chase for the Cup" begins in NASCARland, I'm expecting a change in the rules next year. Given that some of their most popular drivers (Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne) are out of contention under the current rules, NASCAR is faced with a potential lack of fan interest in the final 10-race run to the points championship.

The current rules say that the top 10 drivers plus anyone within 400 points of the leader qualify (everybody else keeps racing, but they aren't eligible for the overall championship). The rule was made after Matt Kenseth won in 2003, with the goal of making the race tighter. Unfortunately, it penalizes drivers who have a few bad races, or get knocked out by no fault of their own. It also takes away some incentive to try and win races for drivers in the front, because they get rewarded just for finishing.

SoI think next season the new rule will be: the top 10 in points, anyone within 400 points, and any driver who wins a race will be in the Chase. Interestingly, I picked the four drivers above as examples of popular drivers who are out of contention right now without looking at the standings or results for the year. Then, just for the heck of it I looked up the season results to-date - and all four of those drivers have won races and would be in the Chase under the rule change I just suggested (Gordon's won three races, the others one each). Consider this rule change a sure thing for 2006.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Career choices

David announced yesterday that he plans to be a doctor. This morning, I asked him whether he wanted to be a "kittycat doctor" (because he can't pronounce veterinarian) or a "people doctor", and he told me he wanted to be a people doctor.

So that's settled.