Thursday, December 30, 2010

And after the work, they rested.

In about an hour, I start a 4 day weekend. I am not doing any work. I'm not going to log in and catch up on anything, I'm not going to check my mail, I'm going home, cracking open a bottle of wine, and not sobering up until Monday. Because I deserve the time off.

One of the things about this job I have, which is different from previous jobs, is that this job requires me to be smart. Other jobs I've had required me to be methodical, and often rewarded me for being smart, but didn't really REQUIRE it. Being a DBA really does require me to be thinking, constantly, both on solutions and on refinements to those solutions, to get the most work done in the shortest amount of time with the least impact to the systems in place. It's incredibly draining, and I am ready to not be doing it for a while.

So, four days off, then two days of work, and then ten days of vacation where I go see my son. I'm very, very ready for this time off.

I think I will play some Rock Band, and maybe watch some bad movies, but mostly I'm betting I spend a lot of time sleeping and drinking. Not necessarily in that order...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Oh, look: I have a blog

My work has been killing me -- lots of work, and any free time I have I'm way to tired to do much more than watch DVDs and eat pasta and pass out.

I want to do something other than zoning out or playing videogames.

I'm hoping that the project I'm working on settles down so I can do something other than have my brains leak out my ears.

Maybe I can try and blog on a regular basis.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

So, the new job is going...

Don't get me wrong. I'm learning an astounding amount, and I really, really like the people I'm working with, and the technology I'm dealing with is interesting.

But I worked every day in October, including weekends. And I've worked almost every day in November, including today.

The level of work that I'm doing is beginning to be ridiculous.

I've got a meeting scheduled with my backup, who is the new guy on the DSG team, so that in theory I can take a day off and not have the world fall over or anything.

I do like my job, but I need some time to not be working, or I'm going to go absolutely stark raving mad.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The saga of the 'stache

Every so often, I reconfigure my facial/head hair in some random process that sometimes makes me look good, but more often just makes me look goofy.

The most recent configuration was a reappearance of The Stache.

Now, The Stache, in my past history, was relatively infamous. I grew out the handlebars so long that it prompted a fellow netizen to comment that it was possible that it could post to the forum I frequented independently of me. This, of course, meant that I immediately had to create a sockpuppet account in the persona of my independently-intelligent mustache, which also turned out to be much, much crankier and antisocial than I was at the time.

Eventually, I ended up shaving off The Stache, and later stopped posting at the forum as either myself or The Stache, and life went on as normal.

Then, about 8 months ago I was inspired to re-grow my mustache in anticipation of, well, something. I don't remember what at this point; I'm sure at the time it was a good excuse. This latest incarnation of The Stache was actually larger, bushier, and longer than any previous version, and did in fact reach a length long enough to braid into two independent little braids on either side of my mouth. I thought it was pretty amusing (and also a pain in the ass to take care of).

And then someone mentioned that I looked kinda like "Pastor" Terry Jones, he of the "Let's burn a holy book to commemorate a tragedy" fame.

You know, it's funny: Kevin Smith pointed out in a podcast that there's something about burning books that just isn't cool -- you could have a pile of 'Mein Kampf' in your driveway, and someone would still say "hey, man, not cool". Terry Pratchett talked about that mystical significance of books (any book) in some of his Discworld novels, too. And I think it's true.

Anyway, the moment I had the chance, rather than being compared to "Pastor" Jones, I shaved off The Stache. Perhaps at some later date I'll return to the configuration, but for now it's out of rotation, and I think I'm going to try going clean-shaven for a while. This also led to the somewhat annoying discovery that I now weigh enough to have jowls. This bothers me. I should do something about it. We'll see.

I have a post about politics, taxation, and my life as a conservative liberal in me, but that's for another time, I think.

Love Life: moving on...
Currently Watching: Life after People, Season 1. Streaming Netflix for the win.
Current Music: Strangely, I've been listening to a TON of sixties folk and rock music. I think I'm trying to inspire myself for the next Story of N.
Current Book: Learning the Korn Shell by Bill Rosenblatt (O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.) Yeah, that's some great light reading on the bus...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

So much for my "once a day" rule

I really am trying to get better at this, though.

Managed to get sick on Thursday night, and felt even worse on Friday, so I took the day off work. This ended up being a great idea, since I slept most of Friday away, only getting up to take Cheryl to her walk-to-the-coast event, then coming right back home and going back to sleep.

This morning I ran to Walgreens to grab some Hall's coughdrops and Canada Dry ginger ale (so much for my "no HFCS" plan) because my throat was KILLING me and my stomach was upset enough that I was having trouble even thinking about food. I'm feeling a little better now, so I'm having ramen soup and water for dinner, in the hopes that my sore throat will die down overnight and I'll be able to at least swallow tomorrow.

I think I've got the opportunity to make real headway on my project at work, and while I hate that I've lost a day's productivity, I think I can make it up and make everyone happy with me despite being out sick. There's SO MUCH riding on this project and my boss has said that it's time to be "more arrogant" about my capabilities. He thinks I'm underselling my talents. I think he might be right. Guess we'll see this next week or so.


Love Life: I don't think I mentioned this anywhere officially, though I posted on my LJ about it -- Cheryl and I got divorced. The worst part of it was telling my parents, but I'm glad we waited until they came out here to visit. They could see that she and I are still friends, and still love each other, but we can't be married any longer. The only bad part about it is that she's managed to move on a LOT faster than I was. Oh, well, them's the breaks. Anyway -- no progress. Moving on...

Current Video Game: Dragon Age: Origins. Completed ME2 and had fun with it, so I've come back to replay DA:O and WOW is there a lot of DLC for this game. Anyway, I've just started up with a Mage this time, so I guess we'll see how it works out.

Currently Watching: Just finished the Ken Burns documentary on Jefferson. It made me intensely aware of how much I hate the Tea Party right now. As I said to a group of people at work, I may be the only Republican on earth right now who thinks my taxes are too LOW.

Current Music: Lots of Decembrists and 80s hair bands. No, I don't know why those two are going together. Blame my brain. And random shuffle.

Current Book: The Essentials of Oracle Database Administration -- the online documentation. And OMLG is it awful - obtuse, boring, dry, obfuscatory, unhelpful, and utterly devoid of entertainment. I'm ACHING for an in-joke or something to make me want to read it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

...and I deleted my whole post. Crap.

Yeah, I'm not retyping that.

Love Life: Why do I even have this on here?
Current Video Game:ME1 done. Next up, ME2.
Currently Watching: Rissoli and Isles. It really annoys me that a show about two strong, intelligent, driven career women can't pass the Bechdel Test.
Current Music: Nothing.
Current Book: Actually, nothing. I'm really between books at this point.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

An amazing difference sleep makes

Today was much, much better; incredibly productive at work, and relaxing at home, at least after I got the STUPID STUPID IRS paperwork completed. I have no idea why they took two and a half months to let me know that I need to submit a form, but whatever.

Anyway, some perspective helps to make things better, or at least more surmountable.

Didn't get any cleaning done, but that's fine; I've got a plan for Saturday for a full-house clean.

Love Life: The less said the better.
Current Video Game: still Mass Effect. At the endgame, ready to finish up and then move onto ME2.
Currently Watching: WIthout a Clue, starring Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine.
Current Music: Nothing.
Current Book: Actually, nothing. I'm really between books at this point.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I was apparently pretty tired.

Came home from work today completely overwhelmed with the amount of project work looming at me. I don't even want to talk about how over my head I am at this point. Ran to Home Despot for a couple of small things, then came home and fell asleep for five hours. I'm up now, but thinking about going back to sleep. Hopefully I can do that and not completely screw up my sleep pattern.

Still waiting on the weather to break so I can get my fan installed. Looking at attic fans, and the prices I've been seeing are still about what I remember -- for a solar-powered fan the right size to install in the space I have, it's about $250. Which I don't really have.

Oh, speaking of money, I got a packet of papers from the IRS telling me that I have to resubmit the paperwork to get my tax credit check. So I'm doing that Saturday at the latest, but it would've been nice if they had communicated that sometime before this week. Well, at least it's not a situation where I owe them money. Again.

Love Life: Still not king.
Current Video Game: still Mass Effect. Haven't played any today (slept all day). May play for a couple of hours before going back to sleep.
Current TV: None.
Current Music: Jem, 24. Thanks, Pandora -- that's just about perfect for my mood right now.
Current Book: Actually, nothing. I'm really between books at this point.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I swear I'm going to start posting here more often...

...I just need to find a good 3rd-party interface, and maybe an iPhone app so I can blog when I'm thinking of it.

July's big "fix the outside of my house" drive didn't really happen, but I did manage to get some stuff done by the simple expedient of encouraging my ex-wife to do whatever she wanted to it. So the front yard is starting to be manageable, and I've closed off the driveway in preparation for resurfacing it, as well as getting ready to open the "tomato bed" area. Still haven't done anything about the back yard, but I have a feeling that without a capital infusion it's going to remain as it is now until I have some serious time off.

I bought a ceiling fan, but it's still "in process" as far as installation goes. It turns out the ceiling mount has to be redone so the fan doesn't fall off, which is involving several trips into the attic... which it turns out is a BAD place to be during the hottest days of summer. I was up there for about 15 minutes and it was ~120F, and I nearly passed out. I'm hoping later this week when it cools off outside that I'll be able to get up there without dying and finish the razzin-frazzin' rebuild of the mount, complete with leveling shims to make sure the fan doesn't shake itself loose and destroy my living room.

The house itself is an absolute disaster area -- I haven't done any cleaning at all since my housewarming party, and the only thing that's saving it from being totally disgusting is that I won't leave food or trash around. No, just the random detritus of various projects that are all half-done. I seriously need to get myself organized and spend some time cleaning up the place. It's not that big, so it wouldn't take very long; I could probably deep-clean the whole house in 4 hours. It's just been so hot that I'm completely unmotivated to make it happen. Saturday is supposed to be nice and cool; I may just take the day and hammer away at everything.

Love life: abject failure so far. The less said about it the better.
Current Video Game: Mass Effect (still), with some Forza Motorsport 3. Waiting for the next couple of games from Gamefly. Also, finished single-player campaign on Starcraft II: still bad at RTS.
Current TV: Leverage and Eureka. Without a broadcast TV connection, I'm not really watching anything else.
Current Music: Strangely, I have "American Woman" stuck in my head. For no apparent reason, since I haven't heard it in ages.
Current Book: Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded, by John Scalzi. Good stuff.

Monday, July 05, 2010


So, June was the month of in-the-house projects, what with all the painting and the rearranging and the half-finished shower (which, according to all the experts I've consulted, needs a real plumber to finish). I made an executive decision that July would be the external projects month, so I can get used to living in my new space without going crazy about the mess.

Saturday was the first big yard project, tackled by my tenants, and it went pretty well so far: the japanese maple in the front yard has been trimmed back so it looks less like it has mange; the rhododendron bushes have been trimmed back on the front and side of the house so they're no longer taking over the space, most of the bushes along the fenceline in fron have been trimmed back to reasonable levels, and the electric hedge trimmers I obtained meant this all got done in about an hour and a half (including mowing the yard and spreading some anti-moss stuff to clear off the sidewalk and side-of-the-house pathway. There's still a ton of work to do, including getting started on moving the gigantic brushpile caused by all of this work, and doing any sort of work in the back yard, but the front of the house looks much, much better than it did on Friday.

Of course, what we discovered today when it warmed up was that there was a wasp's nest (or possibly a bee's nest) in the japanese maple and that trimming back everything really stirred them up. I spent most of the day looking through the glass and wondering if they'd be able to find a way into the house, which is terrifying for me, what with being horribly allergic to stings. At dusk, when things started to cool off again and the bees went back into sleep mode, my tenant attacked the nest with some horrible chemicals and it appears to have taken care of everything. I guess we'll see when it heats up again.

I've pulled rank and am now working the early shift, so it's off to bed early for me, at least for the summer.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The World Cup of FOOD! (Inspired by

So, I saw a tweet from Nate Silver of about who would win the World Cup if it were about food... and thus this stupid project was born.

Here are my choices as to who would advance:

Grp A: #MEX
Grp A: #FRA
Grp B: #GRE
Grp B: #ARG
Grp C: #ALG
Grp C: #USA
Grp D: #GHA
Grp D: #SER
Grp E: #JAP
Grp E: #CAM
Grp F: #ITA
Grp F: #PAR
Grp G: #BRA
Grp G: #CIV
Grp H: #CHI
Grp H: #SPA

Then, seeding the round of 16:

#FRA 1
#JAP 2
#MEX 3
#PAR 4
#GRE 5
#ALG 6
#GHA 7
#ITA 8
#BRA 9
#CHI 10
#SPA 11
#ARG 12
#CAM 13
#SER 14
#CIV 15
#USA 16

Round of 16 results:

#FRA vs #USA = #FRA
#JAP vs #CIV = #JAP
#MEX vs #SER = #MEX
#PAR vs #CAM = #CAM
#GRE vs #ARG = #ARG
#ALG vs #SPA = #ALG
#GHA vs #CHI = #CHI
#ITA vs #BRA = #ITA

Quarterfinal Results:

#FRA vs #ITA = #FRA
#JAP vs #CHI = #JAP
#MEX vs #ALG = #MEX

Onto the Semifinals:

#FRA vs #CAM = #FRA
#JAP vs #MEX = #JAP

The fight for third:

#CAM vs #MEX = #CAM

And, for the World Cup of Food:

#FRA vs #JAP = #JAP

Your choices may be different...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ugh. Ouch.

Two big projects happened this weekend, and one of them is finished (not the one I wanted, but whatever).

I put up about 1/3 of a new shower in the basement, and got stuck because of the plumbing part, which is kicking my ass. I think at this point it may be easier simply to hire someone to come in and fix it.

The second project was a little more visible, though: 3 coats of primer and 3 coats of paint on my front room in 12 hours. Thank the gods I got quick-drying stuff. I haven't pulled down the tape yet, but it already looks amazing and light and much bigger than before. I celebrated by hooking up my projector and xbox (finally!) and chilling for an hour or so.

I haven't yet pulled up the carpet -- I think that's going to have to wait until my next bonus or something like that. But for now, I'm happy.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oh, hey, hi there. I own a home.

I didn't realize that being a homeowner meant that I no longer have any free time that isn't spent working on the fucking house.

This week is really the first week I'm in the house, but I'm not really out of the apartment yet, either. I've had LOTS of help from everyone, including a gigantic help-out from Cheryl doing a lot of painting as long as I do the prep work. And there is a TON of fiddly, annoying, pissant little work, which is the kind of work I hate. But while it's not getting done as fast as I'd like, it is getting done. I think I may be able to see the end of the tunnel.

July projects are all going to be outdoor projects, so I don't have to try and live in a mess of a house for a while.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


The fact that it's taken me two weeks to write that much should tell you how backed up I am, creatively...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Parents are Old.

Having not seen them in a while, I had forgotten than both of my parents are over 70, and while they're still healthy, the "over 70" part really shows in their movements and appetites. I ended up revising my visiting schedule with them several times simply because they weren't up to it.

I'm hoping that they're enjoying themselves, but I'm actually kind of glad that they've said they're not really interested in coming back.

Telling them about Cheryl and I breaking up was a big deal, but they both took it well, and I'm not disowned so I call it a win.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

OK, I think it's now setting in...

I closed on the house on Friday. Which is pretty terrifying.

My first house payment is due 1 July.

What the hell was I thinking, buying a money pit?

I want to go back to sleep for, I dunno, a couple of years. But I have people coming over, and I have a chiro appointment on Monday, and then my parents arrive on Tuesday...

Boy am I glad I took the next couple of weeks off.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oh, and because my life works this way...

...the dog that I was going to adopt?

His original owners found him, and want him back.

Yep, that's how my world works.

I am ever so glad to avoid fandom sometimes.

A particular internet-friend of mine is currently caught behind the drama-llama about the latest episode of LOST. Now, I'm not, and never have been, a fan of the show; I caught the first episode and never bothered to follow up with the rest, since it didn't really pique my interest.

One of the reasons I've become less and less exposed to the internet culture -- dropping out of the fora, deleting my facebook account, culling my twitterfeed, even contemplating dropping off my livejournal (despite the long history I have on LJ) -- is because I get plenty of tsuris in my real life, what with the ex-wives and the estranged child and plenty of friends who have plenty of real-life drama on their own.

I love many of my internet-friends dearly, and I respect many of them as artists, critics, and by-and-large intelligent, well-meaning people. But oh, the drama of fandom...

Monday, May 10, 2010

So much for taking the day off.

I was taking today off because I'm feeling horrible after spending the weekend painting, cleaning, and installing hardware on the new house.

So far, I've worked four hours today.


Saturday, May 08, 2010

Well, here we are. Again.

This is a placeholder at this point; my guess is that I'll start using this more as I move to my own domain and away from the livejournal.

I guess we'll see.