Oh my dearest blog, how long it has been since I've last done anything with
you. Shall I start with the excuses as to what has happened? Well, since it
has been almost 4 years since my last update, I'll start with the first major
interruption: work IT decided to change their firewall to block all telnet
traffic. That is, I couldn't mud from work any longer. On top of that, I
still did not have a home computer or home internet, so I was out of luck
getting onto Bat.
As I left off, major layoffs were happening and I was in the middle of a
project crunch. Obviously, not the best time to worry about getting a
computer and internet. I managed to survive the project and several others
like it as well as several more rounds of layoffs in the four years. For all
of my stress and labor, I managed to get a promotion along the ways, so,
Continuing on the narrative about the lack of computer and home internet
access, fast forward two years and I started doing my shopping for a home
computer. Dell put on some pretty nice deals, and I was familiar with desktop
boxes from work, so I dropped a chunk of change and bought me a shiny
anti-social life machine. During the two years without a computer, I
dedicated my gaming time in the evenings to my back catalogue of Playstation 2
games. By the time I got the computer, I had less than 10 I had not seriously
played. Also, I was building my PC game catalogue by buying several used
games at my favorite shopping spot, the Half Price Bookstore. And did I
mention that I was reading several books as well? No? Well, I was! I built
up my pesonal library. So let's just leave this topic with I was not hurting
for hobbies during my Bat hiatus.
So now, I've got the Dell but no home internet. I decided to start playing
some PC games and managed to sink almost a year into playing those. The worst
part was that I had only made a small dent due to some of those games being
major time sinks to complete. I'm looking at you Dragon Age.
However, it was nearly 3 years of hiatus now, and like cancer or a bad STD,
the Bat disease was starting to come back. Thanks to Ewige for keeping in
touch with me via email and constantly encouraging me to come back into the
fold, I started feeling the need to scratch that Bat itch. My anger at having
lost LoC guild, continents, and BatMud turned into FerryMud had dimmed quite a
bit, and I was willing to forgive my Bat-mistress for mistreating me so much.
I decided to make the call to get DSL hooked up for my house. I'm not sure
who was more excited at my return, Ewige in having his soul buddy back or
myself. Fortunately, I was not in a terrible reinc. at the time of my forced
exile, and got back into the swing of things fairly quickly.
So what else was I doing? Well, I never gave up on my gym/weight lifting
hobby after work. I still hit the gym several evenings a week, even to this
day. Unfortunately, my bad eating habits caught up with me in my older age,
again. I'm back to 200 lbs, but at least I can still bench more than I weigh.
In fact, I'm at my peak again for weight on the bench now that my right
shoulder finally got better and stronger after a couple of years of pain and
weakness. Just tonight I put up 8 reps of 235 lbs. Guess it is time for me
to get working on the diet thing and drop 20 pounds. Now that I'm closing in
on 41 years of age, it is time for me to get serious about dating again, that
is if I want to find a wife and try for children. Otherwise, it is the hermit
life for me.
Let's see, what else have I done with my life in the past four years besides
my hobbies at home and work? I still go back to the farm most weekends during
the spring/summer/fall seasons. Mom and I still do our fishing trips and
we've managed to catch our fair share of fish and fishing tales along the way.
I still block and split the firewood for the folks, however those days are
numbered as our neighbors sold their plot of land and timber a couple of years
ago, and we no longer have access to the wood. Ahead of the sale, I hauled
out as many logs as time allowed back to the farm for storage. We estimate a
couple more years of firewood before the parents burn through the supply. I do
miss the logging opportunities, but that's how life goes sometimes. I still
sneak out to that timber during morel season. shhhh! If you don't tell, I
won't get into trouble. *grin*
Some miscellany before I wrap this up, I managed to celebrate my 20th bat year
anniversary last year, and this year my character would now be legal to drink
here in the US of A. How long ago it seems for this young man in a corner
computer lab with a few other guys taking their invitation up on trying this
mud that they were playing versus the one I was on at the time. I wish I had
bought more tps from the tp shop back in the day when they were damn cheap and
plentiful. Also, had stored away Burgle and Asmo equips too!
Well dearest blog, the clock is telling me I don't have long before Ewige will
come calling. It is the main reason I haven't been updating you since my
return several months ago. Typically, my time is locked into grinding souls
for E., and spawn rep for me. It is a great mutual relationship that we have
going, and I don't want to upset it. By the time we are done, I just don't
have the energy to do a proper blog entry. I even had a request to update the
blog, so I didn't want to half-ass my glorious return to blogging with a tired
brain and sleepy eyes.
Till next time dear blog, I still have to put down my thoughts on my next
reinc. plans. I've been in this reinc for nearly 4 years, so it is time for a
change, wouldn't you say? Also, morel season is just around the corner, we
just need some warmth, as the rain has been coming down the past week or so.
This is a good thing, don't get me wrong, as we are still are way short on
subsoil moisture from last year's drought. I'm just ready for the spring sun
to bring out the girls in the skirts with their pretty...smiles.
Ok, sorry I've missed my 1/month blog update. Been HUGEly busy at work the
past month+. Working on programs that had some seriously tight deadlines. It
got to the point, I stopped playing Bat for a couple of weeks while I worked
through it all. Still plenty busy, but I'm to the point I can play an hour or
2 now and again. Good time to be busy, with all of the layoffs and rumors of
more layoffs in the coming July.
Just got done with the Memorial Day weekend. Work gave us an extra day off
instead of Good Friday. So, a 4 day weekend and I spent it doing the
following. Saturday morning, I went out and tried morel hunting one last
time. A little luck, but the ground was fairly dry and was pretty late in the
season. Fortunately, we had some left in the fridge from my previous 2
weekends worth of hunting. I had an awesome year in mushroom hunting. Got
over 2 breadsacks each weekend. I hit a spot that all I saw were yellow
mushrooms and got a breadsack worth. Best find for me ever!
Anyways, I did that Sat., and then the folks and I hit church. Sunday, Dad
and I cleaned the cattle shed out while we got the opportunity to borrow the
neighbor's skid loader. In the afternoon, my great aunt Elmeda stopped over
along with my sis and 2 of her kids for the last of the morels and some BBQ by
Dad. Monday, the folks and I tried our hand at fishing by the Mississippi in
Guttenburg. Once again, our neighbors from up the road showed up by our spot.
Last weekend, we were fishing at the same spot and they parked next to us.
Anyways, fishing was poor again, (wind out of the east, cloudy and cool
weather). It sure hasn't felt like late spring around here lately.
Today, the folks and I went to the new casino in Dubuque to check it out.
While Mom and I were puttering with video poker, Dad got a nice hit on a 5
dollar machine, and then got a nice smaller hit later on to finish way, way
up. In fact, he hit it about 10 minutes there, and about 60 minutes later, he
was ready to leave so he wouldn't spend too much. Hit and run gambling
basically. Unfortunately, Mom had no luck though, and from the looks of
things, not too many people were either.
Otherwise, I've played through Baroque. Ok game, storyline made almost no
sense as the motivation of the main character was unclear as the ending
unfolded. Kindof a DOOM like clone, and fortunately it was relatively short
(about 20 hours), otherwise the grind would have been pretty bad. Started
playing Dark Cloud, since I've never played the game, but have had it for
years. Hope the storyline picks up soon, otherwise I'll get tired of what
this game has to offer.
Oh well, I'm tired and it is late. Put on a couple pounds, up to 175 8(.
Darn hard hours and too much home cooking on the weekends. I'm hoping to cut
them down a bit in the coming weeks. Tonight's blog brought to you by "Hot n
Cold" by Katy Perry.
Ok, another month has crawled by and such it is time for another blog update.
Let's see, finally got my truck back from all of the bleeping repairs. Long
story short, not buying another Dodge again. On to the next topic, the
weather, we had a couple 60 degree days where I could walk to work, and now
the last two weeks, we've had snow storm and weather barely making it past 45
degrees when it isn't raining. Last weekend, I shovelled 4 inches of the
white crap, which melted in two days thankfully. Yet another weekend storm is
Managed to catch me my spring cold this week. Lovely sinus cold. In other
news, I'm ready for spring! I got most of next season's worth of firewood
split already in the one weekend it was decent weather this month.
Let's see, some progress at the gym, strength slowly getting back to my best
lift weights and reps. Probably at 80% now, if not a little closer. This
time around, I'm not going to overdue it and screw up my shoulder again. On
the flip side, I seem to be maintaining my body weight. Which would be
awesome, if I were about 10 pounds lighter, sigh. Still hovering around thet
172 mark still.
In gaming news, finally cracked the first 3 aelena guild poisons. Got one
more to go and then the other new ones that open up when I hit the next level
of rep. Lord only knows when the hell that will happen. Still playing Okami.
Feck, that game is long, and I just want it to get to the end so I can move
on. May put a big push on this weekend if I do get snowed in. Probably 75%
complete. Why the hell did Shinarae think this was a great game?
Started some crazy project at work which will have me read 30 year old
assembly code for translation to C. Fuck me. This shit may as well be in
Tonight's blog brought to you by Jerry Reed - East Bound and Down.
What, another month gone by already? Well, time to rectify the lack of blog
by mentioning my total lack of getting much done in RL besides work, sleep,
gym, wash, rinse, repeat. Watching the economy tank is sure "fun". My 401k
is now worth less than if I had taken the money and put it in a jar. That
even with considering the stock that the company kicks in for matching. Just
sad. However, I am in good shape now with the house paid off and the farm
land rented out for the year for more than the farm payment will be. Just
hope the renters can pay up.
The only big excitement in my life is my new truck I bought last fall. I had
been noticing two problems, the transmission would "slip" when shifting up
when it was really cold, and that there was too much vibration when I would
drive about 65. So, a couple of weekends ago, I checked the transmission
fluid and found it black and smelled burnt. Took it home, and got it checked
by dealership. Turns out, the transmission was going and since my truck was
under warranty, I would be getting a new or newly rebuilt transmission. The
only downside, it would take a few weeks for the new transmission to show up.
So, finally last Friday, the truck was finished and my parents have it now.
I'll let them drive it and see if everything is working as it should. I'm
also hoping the fuel economy will improve a bit with a better transmission.
Back to the economy, layoffs have been announced a few times around here, but
I'm sitting pretty safe for the moment. We'll see what 18 months will bring.
In fact, I'm darn busy with about 4-5 projects at any one time. As soon as I
get a couple of these off my back, I have a couple more waiting for me to get
to them. whee. Too bad I don't get paid overtime any more. 8( Guess I stay
busy and hang on while the world gets flushed a bit.
Still playing Odin's Sphere and found it fun, at first. Too bad everything is
so recycled when playing through the next couple of characters storyline just
to get to the story end. I am on the last character, Velvet, and can't wait
to the end so I can go on to something new. Nice game, but far too repetitive
(and this is from a guy that loves RPG's!). Trying to decide if I want to go
back and grind the 2nd half of Okami or move on to one of the other 20 games
sitting around waiting for me.
Finally getting some of the winter weight off. Seems that Lent is a great
time for that to happen for me. Weighed in at 172 this morning, and I want to
get back down to mid-160's by April. At least this time my strength is not
dropping off so fast. I may be finally zero-ing in on my body's ideal point.
I just want to cut back on my gym time a bit for other things. Just sucks to
go 3-4 times a week just to maintain.
Welp, back to grinding the xp on Bat. Tonight's blog brought to you by Fun
Fun - "Living in Japan"
What's this, another month gone by? Well, at least I'm consistent about that
now. When I last blogged, it was right before X-mas break for me. On the
24th, my usual crew of buddies travelled to Dubuque to do some last minute
X-mas shopping and take a chance to enjoy each other's company. Since we
rarely get to see each other, we always make the most out of the chances we do
get. This year, X-mas eve was another snowy and then cold day. Shopping went
by fairly quickly, as no one really had much to buy for once. By noon, we
tried to find a steak place (another tradition) and found that we couldn't
find much open. Sadly, we ended up at Ground Round which was 'ok'.
X-mas day came and my brother came over with his girlfriend and her son.
Since my sis couldn't make it, we ended up doing another get together on
Sunday for her with everyone by my brother who was going out of town for work
(had to go to Illinois to do maintenance contract). Nothing too
earth-shattering for either celebration, just kindof fun to have set of
present openings to deal with. And my waistline is still hurting from the
extra feasting. Sadly, the holidays helped add 5 lbs to me, and not the good
kind of pounds. *sigh* Otherwise, spent most of the holidays reading the
Hobbit and the LOTR trilogy. I bought the books for my nephew, but decided to
read them again as it had been 20 years since I last laid my eyes up JRR
Tolkien's epic tales. It is amazing how many names from those books show up
on Bat in unusual places.
New Year's Eve was a small celebration over at Wade's house. A
family-friendly gathering, and by 12:30 am, we already breaking up due to all
of us being old and tired. Spent the evening playing party games and yakking
about Don's engagement. Nasty old Don not telling us about it ahead of time,
we'll have our revenge on him for hiding that information.
Let's see, what else. Oh yeah, started playing Okami over the break. Got
about half-way through the game (I think) and decided to quit. Pretty game,
but I was getting bored with the linearity and the stupid mini-games and
timing jumps that have to be made to continue the story line. Quite honestly,
they could have tightened up the game a lot (alien rocket ships in feudal
Japan, WTF?!?). I peaked ahead and saw that all of the bosses I was fighting,
I would have to fight again, in a row, to complete the game and said screw it.
I may pick it up again when I finish with all the other titles I have.
So, the last few weeks I have been playing Odin Sphere instead and have been
enjoying that one a bit more than I did with Okami. Work has been getting
increasingly busy. Simultaneously support 4 programs now. Weekends since New
Year's have been spent in town due to work and due to the nasty cold or snowy
or both weather we've been having. In one stretch, we had -30F actual temps
for a couple of days. I was happy my truck started and happy my furnace
didn't die on me. Surprisingly enough, it didn't run continuously, but would
fire about every couple minutes though. I even wrapped a hankerchief around
my face to keep my face warm. As for the snowy part, over a foot on the
ground these days and I'm sure there is more to come in the coming weeks.
Already looking like a repeat of last winter, hope we don't get those floods
Hmm...let's see what else. The same New Year's resolutions as the last couple
of years. Here's to hoping one of them comes through for me. Otherwise, just
surviving the winter and waiting for spring to come once again so I can play
outside and drop this weight off. Today's blog brought to you by "Do You
Compute? - Donnie Iris
Almost another month? Time for another blog entry. Since last update, went
out and did first season deer hunting again this year. Cooold temperatures
this year, but at least we had snow on the ground which made hunting a bit
easier. Since the hunting party wanted to go to another area first, Dad, my
brother, and I went out and hit little spots in the timber by ourselves.
Kicked up a doe walking out to the timber, and got 2 shots on a doe feeding
along the edge, but missed both. Didn't see much the rest of the morning,
till the party showed up. Blocked a spot and shot a yearling doe that
wandered right in front of me. About a 30 ft. broadside shot, and I took it.
Good thing too, only decent shot at a deer I would have this season. My
brother and I drug it out, without gutting it since it was light enough for us
to manage. (Yes, it was kindof small.) I never did see any bucks but one,
and that was too close to another hunter for me to take a shot at, and he
passed it up!!! GRR!
The past two weekends, I stayed in town. Two weekends ago, I decided to get a
jump on the X-mas shopping. Got most of the gifts I wanted to find and good
thing I did. Since that weekend, the weather has been crappy ever since.
Either snowing, windy, cold, or a combination of all three. Had to shovel
several times so far, and last weekend, the weather dipped to -10 and -35 F
wind chills. BRR!
So in my free time huddling for warmth in blankets, I ended up finishing Soul
Nomad and the World Eaters and decided to start playing Okami since Shinarae
recommended it so highly. Soul Nomad was fairly decent, although the thought
of trying to play through the game again to see the various endings filled me
with pain and suffering so I skipped that part. Wished there was a way I
could see or read the various endings. Gameplay and storyline were fairly
good. The anti-hero Gig was a riot. So far, Okami has been fun start. Is a
good sign that I keep running around slashing stuff in the paint mode, just to
watch the background destruction. I am dreading the boss fights though. My
guess is those will turn into 45 min. long dodge, duck, and hack fights that
remind me of the bad old days of Nintendo bosses.
Looking forward to the upcoming holiday break. I get about two weeks away
again this year. Just hoping the snow lays off today so I can get home and
tomorrow so I can go out and prowl around with the guys again. X-mas day on
Thursday will have my brother and his entourage as well as my grandma and
great-aunt coming over. Sunday, my sis and her rugrats are scheduled to stop
over. My brother has to travel on Sunday, and sis can't get her kids on the
Thurs., hence the split celebrations this year. As for New Year's Eve, still
no solid plans yet, but maybe something will happen.
Not much to say about work, other than I got my review and my review was very
positive again. Too bad my raise got delayed till April due to the bad
economic news that has been happening around the world with the financial
Well, have a Merry Christmas to ya'all, and I'll see ya in '09! Today's blog
brought to you by Ratt - Slip of the Lip.
Ok, where was I, right, job. Good time to be ranked well with potential
economic downturn everywhere and layoffs in the coming year. I need to hang
on another year just pay off the truck I just bought and get that new roof up
on the house. On the good side, opened up the land for new renters and gota
pair of bids for 200 an acre for next year lined up. That'll pay for my farm
payments + taxes from now on. Freaking sweet. I just have to survive a few
more years for the Stock Market to bounce back so I can recover my 401k plan.
I think I could retire by the time I'm 45-50 if everything works out right
(which they won't) or unless I get married (which seems highly unlikely these
Anyways, financial, savings are low now, but the future looks good. Stil
weighing in around 170 mark these days. Gain a little, lose a little, body
seems happy with this number even if I'd rather I'd be 10 pounds lighter.
But, I tend to drop weight in winter months due to lack of access to Mom's
cooking and reduced chances of eating out for lunches. Otherwise, body is
healthy and feeling good.
Congrats to a RL friend on getting engaged last week. That reduces the number
of single friends by a point, with another getting close to that engagement
Last few weekends have been on the farm, getting ready for winter. Helped
Dave get the last few loads of wood I cut for him all this year. He got
around 20 trailer loads of wood at 50 bucks a pop from me. So, I'm on the
credit side of the ledger if I need truck or tractor repairs/parts in the
coming years. Feels good though to help him out so he can focus on his
starting business and he appreciates my efforts to help him, so it is all
Otherwise, have the American Turkey Holiday coming up tomorrow. Will
celebrate tomorrow evening with the family. Was supposed to be Friday at my
house, but my brother has to work now that day, so we moved it up and over to
the parents house for less travel for all involved.
Not much else. Current farm project is converting an old manure spreader into
a wood hauling trailer. The spreader was one that Dad couldn't use any
longer. Got the wheel axle bent back and got the webbing out of it. Just
need to remove the drive shaft and beater bar, and a little welding to the
axle and I'll be set.
Guess that's about it. Till next time true believers. Today's blog brought
to you by "Stormy May Day" by AC-DC.
Ok, another month, another blog entry of progress dump. In my latest biggest
news section, I bought a used '07 Dodge Dakota to replace my old Chevy that
was starting to go to pieces. After trade in, and with taxes, paid 13,400.
Which I felt was reasonable given the Blue Book value was 15,100 for the Dodge
and about 3000 for my old beast. So, here's to hoping the new vehicle runs
good for about 10 years to justify the investment.
Still puttering away at work. Got my review back and another stellar ranking
by my boss. I'll know in a few weeks if I get anything for a raise or not.
Hang on, mob reset...
While I wait to regen. Here's my latest progress dump. In my big news, I
paid off my house last week Tuesday. WOOT! No more house payments for me.
Next up, new computer, then farm payment at the turn of the year, then next
year will be an upgrade to the truck and a new roof on the house. After that,
I'm hoping to get some savings built up again. I'm just about tapped out
after paying ahead. However, with the low interest rates, it made sense
paying off a loan at 7% instead of keeping it in savings at < 3%.
Spent the weekend out on the farm. Went out and did more firewood again on
Saturday while the weather was still nice. Sunday morning, the folks and I
went to Pike's Peak Park to look at the leaves over the Mississippi River.
Then Sunday afternoon, I came home to put plastic up on the windows in
anticipation of a cold week this week. I had enough plastic to do all the
windows but the big window in the living room. I think it has made a real
difference as the furnace hasn't had to work as much this week as I would have
expected for this time of the year.
Been working part time for a new group. Having fun just doing coding stuffs
again. If I am boned on the raise area, I think I'll end up jumping ship. As
for in-game, I finally got the master hunter lq done yesterday. Wow, talk
about a drawn out lq of grinding. Sadly, I'm still working on kbh'ing melody
of the misadventurer. So, what does that say about that stupid spell. On
week 2 of this kbh. I can't wait till this is done so I can get plugging on
aelena. I am even thinking of staying in town this weekend to get caught up
on some errands. Hoping to have kbh done by then so I can I finish reinc out.
Woops, build is done. Time to rock and roll. Blog brought to you by Donnie
Iris "Do You Compute?"
Woooosh, almost 40 days have gone by since the last blog update. Well, I have
two good reasons for that. First, I took two weeks of vacation to start
September. Got a ton of stuff done around the farm such as painting and
straightening fences, painting and fixing up the outhouse, painting the
parents bathroom, firewood, fishing, etc. Too bad the rains came the second
week and slowed things down a bit. The following two weeks were a busy time
for me at work as it was the end of the fiscal year. Then came the removal of
the loc guild and the force reinc. For a few days, I was below lvl 20 and
couldn't enter stuff into my blog. 8(
Speaking of the end of the locs, good-bye to 10+ years of WOO! I'll miss ya
buddy. No word on how the wizlings will convert it over and to what. Sad
times, sad times man. So, now that I'm forced into a reinc, decided to take
it slow and easy and do a bunch of low level lq's. First, I wanted to get
that quest rank (achieved now) and second, I wanted those training points. So
far, I've knocked off about 10 lq's with a couple more to easily achieve
before I give up and work on the reinc.
So, what reinc did I choose? Well, I decided to finally get back over to bard
and grind that final kbh for max bard, the evil melody of the misadventurer.
I knew it would take me a week+ to get it done. For my second guild, I wanted
to learn about aelena, so going to grind rep in that one and see if I like it
or not. Finally, going to go and lvl inflate to 100 and pick up lvl 2 of
wanderers and navs and dump the rest into sabres. Basically, grind sabre rep
and aelena rep and hopefully have something good enough to do xp. I need to
make about 8M this reinc before I do my next reinc, which may end up
coinciding with my upcoming computer purchase.
Yes, computer purchase. Why now? Well, before the end of October, I will pay
off my house mortgage. Once I do that, I'll evaluate my savings and will
probably invest in a home computer and home net access. Friend also talking
me into playing Warhammer Online. Maybe my days on Bat are numbered? With
loc gone, it is a distinct possibility.
So what else? Up a few pounds on the weight department, so I'm back on a
better diet until Thanksgiving. Already missing my cookies. :( Work is a bit
slow after the start of the new fiscal year. Guess the force reinc couldn't
have come at a better time for me. Otherwise, watching the stock market tank.
Really hurts to look at the old 401k balance now. Just sit back and wait a
few years now. Hate to see that investments came in on the highs instead of
the lows, but that is life, no?
Today's blog brought to you by AC-DC "Rock-n-Roll Train" Woot, new AC-DC!
Gone for 2 weeks of vacation.
Well, since I'm once again almost a month behind on the blog entry and I'm
sitting here bleary eyed at work, time for another entry. Busy past few weeks
with the job. Nothing new here. Most weekends are either working with
firewood, gone fishing, naps, or a combination of all of the above.
I am beginning to plot my next reinc now that the lords of chaos guild is now
officially frozen out from any new reinc in and a promised freebie reinc on
the horizon. Sad times man, sad times. Right now, leaning towards
bard/aelena, I mean, how bad can I possibly suck. I figure it will rank right
down there with my merchie/knight reinc. Main goal, get past that shitty
melody of the misadventurer kbh.
I have two weeks of vacation coming up at the start of September. So far, no
plans. Thinking of repainting the kitchen since for some reason the ceiling
paint is cracking and bubbling in a few places. Well, that and Mom hates the
off-shade of yellow they used and wants it gone.
It has been a very mild summer. Only a day or 2 in July that even came close
to breaking 90 degrees. I've had to run the AC only one evening for two hours
since it was about 87 in the house that night when I got home. I am already
wearing a light jacket on my walks into work in the morning and it is the
middle of freaking August!?! Not complaing about the current weather, but it
worries about how bad the winter might be. Well, one complaint, the damn
grass keeps growing in my yard and I have to keep mowing it. 8(
Since last blog post, finished up Makai Kingdom. Twas an ok game, with great
humor but weak storyline. I felt the combat was a little weaker than Disgaea,
the maps were very weak (most felt like fillers to make the game longer than
it was), and I was just glad to be done with the game so I could move on to
something else. Decided to go with Atelier Iris 1, and I'm enjoying it much
more than Makai. It has the Ar Tonelico feel to it, and then I realized that
Atelier was produced a few years earlier by the same company that did Ar
Tonelico. So, that was a pleasant surprise.
Sigh, time to get back to the grind. Today's blog brought to you by Krokus -
Screaming in the Night.
Wow, way behind on the times. Summer just flies by for me though. Weekends
spent out in the timber and on the farm. The work week, spent, well, doing
work. So what has gone on. Flood of the century has come and past. However,
the damage is going to take years to clean up and recover from. I managed to
wreck my tractor on July 4th weekend. I drove over a pushed over tree, and it
popped up and hit the fuel injector block and broke the fuel line and the
steering pump housing. Just got the tractor back last weekend. So, I have
been fishing and working on blocking up wood that I had hauled out for my
tractor repair guy and my brother. Blackberry season is just about past now.
Another good crop year. Dad and I went out for a Sat. morning and got 7 full
quarts of the berries. I went out again last weekend and pick over a quart of
red raspberries for Mom for a pie.
Moderate temps so far this summer. We've only had one day that managed to
crack the 90 degree barrier. I have not had to turn on the air conditioner
yet. Although, I certainly could have. *
So, had my birthday on the 9th of June. 36 years on this planet called Earth.
At least I got a cake at work. Not much else in way of celebration.
Suffered at work all that week and then back home for the weekend. Something
about a major flood too! Got a record setting flood here in Cedar Rapids as
the Cedar River went way, way, way out of its banks and hit downtown hard. My
house is a few miles away and only got wet when the power dropped and the sump
pump quit. Nothing damaged fortunately, as my house has an alternate drain to
handle such a situation.
Ended up training customers most of the week on a software product. Kindof
nerve-wracking to get up in front of a bunch of strangers and ramble on about
a complicated software product. I can see why I'd never make a good teacher.
So during my lunch break, I would catch up on the latest flooding news.
Pretty incredible stuff.
Enjoyed that Father's Day weekend away from Cedar Rapids. Got Dad a nice card
and a pair of digital converter boxes for the analog tv sets. We went to
Dyersville for church and then to Pizza Hut for supper to celebrate my
birthday late and Father's Day. We tried fishing on Sunday, but the
Mississippi was too high and too fast due to high water levels. All the flood
gates were open on the lock and dam.
Spent another week at work fighting the good fight. The less said the better.
On to another weekend back home. Spent both mornings out in the timber
playing with the firewood. Spent the afternoons puttering around the farm or
taking a short nap. Finally, summer is here and the weather is reflecting it.
I can't believe how fast the undergrowth has leafed out and blocks my view.
Ended up clearing the logging trail from brother's deer stand to the bottom of
the hill. Kindof messy and nearly got stuck once. Boss popped in. Gotta
Whoops, time has kindof slipped by since my last blog entry. Time for the bum
rush of catch-up. Past week was just painful at work. Got a customer that is
way behind schedule and when things go wrong, they blame our radio first. So
far, we've been finding cabling issue. Go figure. *sigh* No one ever
believes me when I say, 'the radio just doesn't do that, you are doing
Previous week, I had to travel down to visit aforementioned customer on site.
Travel was ok. Hotel accomodations sucked, as I was stuck on a floor with a
bunch of high school kids. Little bastards were up all hours of the night,
slamming doors, talking and playing cards in the hallway, and other stuff to
ensure I got only a few hours of sleep both nights I was there. Top top
things off, I had to wake up at 4:30 am local time to get ready for my 7 am
flight. Mix in maintenance working on electrical stuff at 10pm and brown
tap water, and well, the less said the better. The other annoying point of
the trip was that I could have supported the customer via telephone for 88% of
the stuff I had to do down there. Attending meetings, and more meetings, sit
on my butt and wait for people to get out of meetings. Just pretty dumb.
Now, the week prior to that (week leading up to Memorial Day) was much better,
I took vacation. Stayed up on the farm and got a lot of stuff done. Went out
hunting the first day off, and managed to get close to two bread sacks worth
of the big yellows. Was a poor year for mushrooms, had the wetness, but never
got the heat. Has been a very cool and wet and late spring this year. Over
the next several days, Dad and I got the rest of this coming winter's firewood
split and stacked away in the shed to keep it dry. I also went out to disc
down the corn plot for the CRP acres and managed to run over a deer antler
that punctured my right rear tractor tire. 8( 8( So, while my tractor was
out of commission, the folks and I went to Guttenburg to enjoy some pizza in
the park by the lock and dam on the Mississippi. After the tire repair, I was
back in the timber hauling more firewood for the coming years.
On Memorial Day weekend, Sunday to be exact, my cousin and aunt from Pheonix,
Arizona were back in Iowa to visit the family. They wanted to put on a meal,
so my folks decided to host it. Great idea, good execution, unfortunately,
Mother Nature decided to send an F-5 and an F-3 tornado and a line of severe
storms which knocked out the power for us for a few hours and freaked out a
couple people. Luckily, no damage for us besides lots of fields flooding.
However, Parkersburg wasn't so lucky, and got nailed with the F-5 and the town
was pretty much a loss.
So, this weekend I am staying in town. Time for some laundry, headed out to
buy those digital converter boxes for the folks and my tv's, hit the gym, and
a few other planned shopping trips tomorrow as well as wrapping up Xenosaga ep
3. I on the final chapter, and should be close to being done tonight if I
don't run into something that I can't kill. Starting to look at the
collection, and making the decision as what to play next. Looking at Makai
Kingdom or Baroque. I'll give my final report on the series in my next blog
entry. Well, time to a little work wrap-up before I head out to the church
and hopefully avoid the rain storms popping up in the area. Tonight's blog
brought to you by Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter.
Vacation, Fri. May 16 - Mon. May 26. Going to the farm, so no internet.
A series of quick statements to keep the blog up to date. Past weekend, spent
the entire day of Saturday inside due to wind and cool temps. Sis was over
with her family and it was almost like a family reunion. Yesterday was much
better weather. Dad and I sorted some cattle out to be put in the small yards
around the farm. Then, I went out and pulled out an ancient pull-behind
combine and car frame out of the dump for my brother to cut up for scrap
metal. Right now, scrap iron is worth big money. Dad had pulled out another
old car earlier. I almost got stuck trying to pull the combine up the hill
due to the ongoing wet conditions of the fields due to rains every 2-3 days.
I had to use 3 lengths of chains to get far enough out of the soft spot and
gain good enough footing to pull the combine into the yard. Then, I went
mushroom hunting and had a little luck. I managed to find 2, then 1, then a
few dozen of the gray mushrooms out in the pasture. Upon my return to the
farm, Dad took one look at them and immediately stopped mowing the yard and
tore off for his hunting patches. He ended up doing as well as me, and
together we had enough for a meal beings as the early season ones are so
small. Talking warm weather today and tomorrow, so I am hoping next weekend
will be a better yield.
Spent the previous weekend back at the farm as well. Worked on putting
firewood away for winter. Also, went out with folks and met my brotherand his
girlfriend for pizza.
Otherwise, finally got the thumping problem resolved on my truck. Turned out,
the ball joints on the truck frame were going bad, and got those replaced. So
far, alternator, fan belt, ball joints, and windshield washer pump have been
replaced. I am having the fuel gauge looked at next, as that is the last
known thing wrong with the truck. Closing in on a thousand bucks in repairs
though. 8( Oh well, still cheaper than a new vehicle by far. Sometimes you
just have to pay the upkeep and live with it.
Job is slowly grinding along. I am just waiting for the work to run out so I
can't change teams and get away from doing customer support all the time.
And just for you Zarman, I'm still no closer to buying a home PC. 8)b
Tonight's blog entry brought to you by KLF - Doctoring the Tardis.
Yes, still very intermittent with the blog updates. Yes, still quite busy at
work. Just had a Sun-Tues work trip down to Atlanta, Georgia that I only
found out about on the Wed afternoon prior. Travel on a Sunday (on my
personal time). Flew out at 1pm, went to Minneapolis-St. Paul, sat around for
2.5 hours, then flew down to Atlanta Hartsfield airport. I just can't get
over how big some of the airports are. Just miles and miles of concourse and
shops and gates. Arrived in Atlanta around 8pm, and then almost an hour wait
to get my rental car from Hertz. Then, my stress levels shot up as it was
time for what I dreaded the most, driving through a strange city, at night, by
myself. Thank goodness for the "Never Lost" GPS navigation system in the car.
Too bad my route ended up being under road construction, so it was stop and
go traffic for several miles. I didn't check into the hotel until 10pm. I
don't think I got more than a few hours of restless sleep. Up at 6am, arrived
to work site by 7:30 and discovered almost no one there yet. Worked right
along for 12 hours with only a 15 minute lunch break when some sandwiches were
brought in from a local deli to feed us. Lots of problems found and
diagnosed, so it was worth it from a "value of trip" point of view. Didn't go
out to eat that evening, just ate an apple and crashed. Up by 6am again, more
work and a meeting, then on the road by 2pm for my trip home. Trip back was
much better as route didn't have road construction slowing me down. Flew out
around 5:30 back to Minneapolis, then a 3 hour layover there which was kindof
killer. Arrive back in Cedar Rapids a little after 11pm and didn't get home
till almost midnight. Naturally, I wake up next morning at 6:30 and crawl
into work for a full day of catch-up.
Now just prior to the trip, I noted that I was hearing a squealing-squeaking
sound coming from my engine area on my truck. So I ran it back Friday night
to have it checked out. Turns out one of the bearings in my alternator was
going bad. I was worried it was my water pump going out. However, Dad said
yesterday there was still some squeaking sounds yet, so he was going to look
Still really isn't spring here in Iowa. Grass is green but no leaves on the
trees and not much else growing. Weather has been cool and wet so far this
month. That means planting is going to be way behind schedule unless it turns
hot and dry really soon. Ah well, glad I don't have to worry about that this
Finally finished up Xenosaga 2 on the weekend prior to this trip weekend.
What a let down compared to the first episode in the series. Game play stunk,
graphics were worse, voice acting down, and the storyline for the first 2/3 of
the game was only about Jr. and MOMO, and didn't grab me nor really advanced
the plot. Just started Xenosaga 3, and it is much improved in the gameplay
and graphics department compared to 2.
Speaking of games, went on a spending spree and bought Civ 4 and Heroes of
Might and Magic 5 for the PC. The PC you say? But Roger, you don't have a PC
at home. Well, consider this my first step towards getting around to
purchasing one. Prices are looking about right, I just need to pull the
trigger sooner or later. Of course, two weeks later, I get a gift card for
the amount I spent on the games. Timing, nice. 8( Also have picked up a
couple more PS2 games while they are still being produced. I have a huge
backlog awaiting me once I wrap up Xenosaga 3.
I am extrememly happy with my weight loss progress due to my lack of eating on
the trip. I weighed in at 161 last night. I was down to 159 the day after my
trip, but I knew I'd pick up some weight after getting into a normal eating
and drinking routine. Stillll, 161 is goood. I can really notice the
difference around the middle. I am a few more pounds of fat loss away from
where I've wanted to be for so long.
Ok, time to get back to slugging out at work. I am totally ready to get out
of here. Still have a stiff shoulder/neck spot from riding in coach and
carrying bags. Hope that unkinks a bit this weekend. Today's blog brought to
you by Underworld - Underneath the Radar
Man, lost track of time once again. Worked on a major project this month, and
managed to get the qualification completed on Thur. of last week, right before
the Easter holiday break. Not too bad, took us four final builds to get to
the final product with only about a week of schedule slip from our best
schedule guess. We were able to actually move up our development and release
by 3 months, so a week slip is no big deal. Spent the last three prior
weekends in town to be available to work on the project. Some weekends there
was work, some there wasn't. Otherwise, I hit the gym a lot, cleaned around
the house, ground a bit more on Xenosaga 2, etc.
Been really happy with my weight loss progress. Gave up 10 pounds during the
Lent season, and I'm really happy. Too bad, Sat. and today I've ate very well
at the folks and then over at my brother's today for Easter dinner with the
family. Guess I'll pick up a pound or 2 from the over-indulgence. Not to
worry, I'm in the groove right now and should be able to get those back off
and then continue on my loss program. Trying to lose those last couple of
inches around the waistline finally. Weighed in at 164 on Thur., which is a
milestone low for me since I joined the gym 4+ years ago. Too bad my weight
lifting prowess is greatly diminished, but that's the way it goes when you
Mom and sis were giving me a bit of a hard time about looking too thin. 8)
Oh yeah, had a "blast" last weekend as I decided it was time to do the damien
quest (Ackbar). When I had done it a few years ago prior to it awarding a
quest, I was clocking in about 3-5 hours. This time around, luck was not on
my side. 12 hours, 7 deaths, and staying up till almost 4am my time to get it
completed was the cost for that quest, but totally worth it. I was worried I
was going to lose to armageddon on that quest. I got the key early on Friday
to ensure I could get the quest. Then, after work, I mapped the first maze
after the portal. Cruised through the 2nd maze. Third maze took me a few
hours due to finding over 70 rooms and a couple mobs picked up some markers
too. Died once in a "trap" room with a couple mobs that blocked me out.
Final maze, ran into the captain draconian early, so he spawned and hunted me
a lot, died 5 times to him as I wandered the 70+ citadel maze. Found 9 mist
warriors and then died and lost track of where they were at. Found the cave
and 9 more mist warrior, but apparently 9 wasn't enough so I had to find the
other group I had lost earlier. Died another time to a trap room searching
for those warriors. Eventually turned them up after an hour of retracing
rooms. Took under an hour to whack the commander, and the quest was mine!
Learned I needed to take in more regen potions, and a shelter scroll or potion
would've helped in the citadel. Raztax invis ring rocks mazes 2 and 3, but
useless in maze 4 as everything saw invis. Gotta love the adrenaline rush as
running against the clock and exhaustion. Managed to get 4 hours of sleep
that morning, and then hit the gym to lift. Killer.
Still grinding away on special explore rooms for 2lvl wanderers. Now
currently 10 short of the 39 necessary. Ewige has been a big help in getting
rooms, and Crawe's list is uber. I've also been lucky to get behind a couple
of eq parties to reloc in for free rooms now and again. I can't wait to get
the requirements out of the way for my next reinc. Speaking of which, put off
reincing a while by using my hoarded youth scroll to get me back down to
middle aged. Was getting far into old after my deaths in ackbars. Also, I
want to get the dodge staff quest completed before I reinc. So, a couple of
goals yet. Well, I also want to pass Mithrand on the blade plaque, but one
step at a time. Still #5 on loc blade plaque. Running against the clock
until this loc guild goes poof. When all 4 new loc guilds come into game, it
is game over for current loc guild. 1 is in game, 1 is in player testing now
with the other two in development.
Back to Easter, was supposed to go home Thur., but weathermen predicted a
major snow storm for Friday. So, I stayed in town partly to avoid the storm,
partly to keep myself entertained by staying home. Turns out, storm was a dud
as its path stayed far to the north and hammered Wisconsin and Illinois
instead. So, I went to church for Holy Thursday mass, and then hit the gym on
Friday morning. Came home and played hard on Xenosaga 2 until Good Friday
mass. Mass ran extra, extra long, like 1 hr 45 min. long (longest ever in my
book!) due to singing of the passion. Came back to the house, ground on
Xenosaga 2 until bed time. Got up yesterday morning, drove back to the farm.
Helped Dad innoculate the cattle, unloaded my truck of the branches and free
snow thrower that Don didn't want any longer. Ate a home cooked meal with the
folks, a nap, lots of reading, quality time with the folks, etc was what I did
on Saturday. Then today, church in the Basillica in Dyersville. Packed
house, and just my luck, had a sick kid hacking away next to me the entire
mass and a new born in front of me that created a "stinky" during mass. I was
happy to get out and off to my brother's for Easter dinner. Family was in a
good mood this year and my brother cooked a feast with lots of snacks with ham
as the main course with taters and green bean cassarole, baked beans, and
biscuits. mmmm...ate far, far too much. Still not hungry yet.
So, that's about it for my month away from the blog. Otherwise, still waiting
for spring to get here. Robins have been around for a few weeks, but still a
ton of snow still on the ground up around the farm. The cow yard was just
starting to get soft as I was sinking in several inches into the manure as I
chased the cattle around to get them into holding pen. Looks like a sloppy
spring coming up. I can't wait till it gets here so I can get cracking on
wood again. Dad burned through a ton this winter due to it starting early,
staying cold, and hanging on late now. Ah well, better than paying for gas
like me! Tonight's blog brought to you by Europe - Rock the Night.
Catch-up time for the ye olde bloggy! Previous weekend dropped off truck to
get worked on. Four-wheel drive would not engage at all, and with this winter
we are having here in Iowa, I need it. So, I borrowed Mom's truck for the
week. Had to leave Sat. evening after church to get home ahead of the next
big storm that would roar in on Sunday. We ended up getting 7 inches of snow
from it, which was a bitch to shovel due to it being wet and heavy. I also
finished up Xenosaga episode 1 on Sunday. Really enjoyed the game. Story is
top-notch, and the game play wasn't too shabby. Started episode 2 of the
series. Not liking the game mechanics so far. Instead of tweaking, they
changed it radically, and not in a positive direction. *sigh* Haven't played
it much yet.
I spent spent all week at work grinding my teeth and patience with customers.
Real clusterfuck ongoing with a new customer. One is having install issues
with Access that is driving me nuts. The other new customer does not realize
how big of a hole they are in schedule wise on top of not knowing how far
behind the tech know-how curve they are at the moment. Not looking forward to
this week and dealing with them.
Spent last weekend back home on the farm. Went back to pick up the truck from
repair shop. Turns out, a snap ring broke, replacement part is 90 bucks, no
word on how many hours it took to drop the transmission to get to it though.
8( Otherwise, enjoyed being home and bumming around with the folks. Nice
weekend for once in a long while. Too bad it didn't last as today is yet
another winte r storm in progress as I type. We are over 60 inches of
official snowfally this winter season. Top 5 ever since recordings kept for
our area. *sigh* This weather reminds me of winter as a kid now. Several
locals are out of firewood already. Folks and brother are in good shape yet
for wood supply. Easily ride out this winter with the amount left. Just
means I'll have to split a bunch more this coming spring. Just as soon as the
7 foot drifts melt down to where I can find the wood again.
Otherwise, next weeks are going to be long and hard with a major qual. coming
up that is due by March 15th. Tis ok, weather doesn't appear to be nice for a
while anyways. I am getting cabin fever though. I want to do outside stuffs
again, but can't with all of the weather.
Today's blog brought to you by Mudvayne - Fall Into Sleep
Oh my blog, how I missed you. Been sick for over a week with either strep
throat or a sinus infection or both. Sore throat for a few days, fever for a
few days, cough, sneezing, etc. Went home last weekend to drop off my tax
stuff with Dad to take over to the tax preparer. So, we added up the numbers,
went outside and de-horned a calf, threw another load of wood into the garage
and that was it for me. Basically, spent the rest of the weekend on the couch
wrapped up in blankets and sweating out the fever.
Speaking of recovering, Mom is home now and recovering from her hip
replacement surgery on Jan 28th. She spent two days in the hospital and I
visited her both evenings. First evening she was pretty spent and a bit pale
and I had a bad dream that night that her hip popped out and she was in pain
and I was in a panic to get help. The next night she was a little better
shape, but it felt weird talking to Mom while she had a couple of tubes jammed
into her. I'm going to blame my sickness from picking that super bug up from
the hospital visits. *grin* Anyways, Mom can move around with the assistance
of a walker. I will be anxious to hear tonight from her tonight on her
improvement this week when I call home. Mom is still a bit unhappy with the
tradeoffs that come with the surgery, but she was in such pain and couldn't
walk normally any longer with that bad hip. At least she'll have less pain
and more mobility. She just can't cross her legs or bend over and grab stuff
below her knees without bending her knees, things like that.
So, in the midst of the sickness, we had a major snow storm blow into the
area. It came in Tues night and by Wed morning we had over 6 inches of snow
everywhere. Well, with my 4-wheeled drive option busted on my truck (found
that out for certain last weekend too), I ended up walking into work on
Wednesday. With only about 1/3 of the people able to make it in to work,
Rockwell issued a snow closing of work at 10:30 for 2nd and 3rd shifts. So,
everyone took off by 1pm. Not me though, I ground out 8 hours that day.
Like, I had anything else to do at home, I ended up having a good day of
mudding instead with Ewige. So, I looked like a dedicated wage slave and made
a few hundred k of xp to boot! By Wed afternoon, we had a foot of snow on the
ground, but the city snow plows made it out so people could drive on some
streets. I even caught a break and got a ride home from a friend at work. I
spent an hour in the morning shovelling, and another hour+ shovelling again
when I got home. My snow piles are chest high now. Now today they are
talking about -30 wind chills tonight and tomorrow. shesh! An actual Iowa
winter this year!
So, for the past week plus, I've been skipping gym. On the plus side, my cold
killed my appetite. I could tell I had lost some weight, so I was anxious to
hit the gym this morning and weigh in. I wasn't disappointed as I dropped
down to 173. I don't seem to have lost much strength, but my endurance
dropped off though. Hoping next week goes better to get back into the groove
and push down a few more pounds!
Tonights blog brought to you by Rainbow - Man on the Silver Mountain
Freaking cold. I mean, the weather outside, not any sickness that is. -15F
this morning. The cold weather this past weekend almost kept the folks and I
from attending my brother's racing awards banquet. Fortunately, the wind
chills stayed to a tolerable -20F on Sat. evening. But I am getting ahead of
myself. Sat. morning, I hit the gym, then drove home to the farm. Caught
some lunch, a nap, and then evening mass with the folks. Afterwards, we drove
to Farley to my brother's place. From there, we went to the ballroom where
the evening dinner and awards were being hosted. Meal was fine, although for
22 bucks a head, it had better be. Afterwards was the awards ceremony. We
got to watch my brother accept his plaque and winner jacket for his track
championship for his car class at the Farley track. I managed to get a couple
of photos snapped. My brother was so happy, he clutched his jacket in his
arms most of the evening. Sunday, too cold to go outside, so I stayed in and
slept a lot.
Work this week has been, meh. A few customer support requests, a few internal
investigations, nothing too exciting. I'm still a few weeks away from the
next big release. I am just putting in my 40 these weeks. Also, I am looking
forward to spring weather so I can get back outside on weekends again.
Made some progress on weight loss and then lost most of the progress after the
past weekend of eating too much and laying about. Weighed in last night at
178. *sigh* I need the warmer weather so I can get back outside and be
mobile instead of sitting inside with the food temptation. The additional
pounds has been depressing me a bit. It really sucks that I can't enjoy most
foods again. Constantly worried about gaining weight. Oh, how I miss ye ice
cream, pizza, chips, cookies, cakes, pies, cupcakes, donuts, muffins, sugared
cereal, pasta, etc., etc. The one positive is that my weight lifting is a bit
better than it has been in the past. Silver linings and all that eh.
Tonight's blog brought to you by Prince - Let's Go Crazy.
Good slacker weekend. Spent the day on Saturday by hitting the gym in the
morning with Don. Then, laundry and dishes in the afternoon and finally
hitting evening mass at St. Pius. Afterwards, I called the folks who told me
they were coming down to visit and bring down an old recliner of theirs and my
X-mas gift, the dump freezer. After the phone call, I decided to finish the
last boss battle in Dragon Quest 8. Nice enough game, but I guessed the end
plot far too soon and kindof got bored with the storyline as it drug along.
Still muchos better than the last FF 12 borefest. Then, got up this morning,
folded laundry, waited for folks to show up. Unloaded, sat around and chatted
about Mom's upcoming hip replacement surgery. Mom is unhappy with the
side-effects due to the surgery. It will end her pain and straighten her
back, but she won't be able to do as many things as she used to be able to do,
such as cross her legs and bend over without risk of popping out the artifical
joint. So, needless to say, she is fairly upset and nervous (and I can tell
it is driving Dad nuts hearing about it all the time). After an hour, I took
the folks out to lunch. After lunch, they took off to attend my nice's
birthday party. Yeah, I skipped, didn't feel like driving 90 min. one way for
a small party. Instead, I hit the gym to work off the lunch. Ended up
working extra hard while watching the Colts lose to the Chargers in a great
So, another slow week ahead. Looking forward to next weekend where the folks
and I will be attending my brother's racing banquet to watch him receive his
track championship plaque and jacket. Oh yeah, back to last week at work.
Found out I may have to go to Georgia sometime in the future to help answer
customer questions. *puke* Hoping we can talk the customer to coming in
house so I won't have to travel. Also, got back in touch with my buddy from
college again last week. Had a nice hour long phone call.
Tonight's blog brought to you by Mad Season - River of Deceit.
Way, way, waaaay, behind on the blogging. Catch up mode engaged. When we
last left our hero, he was looking ahead to X-mas break. Well, that time has
come and past I'm afraid. Got home ahead of a major snow storm on the 23rd.
Was snowed in till the snow plow could get a lane open late on the 24th. Had
6 foot high drifts in places. Dad and I took pics next to them. I ended up
getting a dump freezer from the folks, clothes from my sis, and gloves and
misc. from my brother. No luck at the scratch tickets Dad gave out this year.
4 bucks out of 25 tickets. Came back before the next storm. Ended up
spending New Year's eve over at Wade's place. Had a meal and then played
poker till 1:30 am. Did fairly well, even with no money involved. Helps when
half of the group had never played before.
Otherwise, been playing the daylights out of Dragon Quest 8. I should be
through with the game in a few more weeks, if not sooner. Nice game, but I am
ready to move on. I've pretty much got the plot figured out, now just playing
to see if I'm correct or not.
Bad news on the gym front. Gained like 5 more pounds in the last couple of
weeks. Partly because I have been lifting weights more seriously again,
partly because of all of the home cooking I've been eating. Sigh, time for a
hard diet to lose those pounds. Truly sucks, since I was regularly exercising
the entire time too, but the scale and fat don't lie.
So, I'm feeling pretty blue about the extra weight. No date prospects either.
Work has been slow, at best. Guess this is what we would call the winter
time blues. I'll just have to work through it. On the plus side, watched and
then read up the manga for Claymore. Love, love it. Watching Elfen Lied now,
mixed emotions. Good storyline, just that I don't like the lead protagonist
character of Nyuu/Lucy. Ah well, gives me something to pass the time with as
I wait for the next round of Bleach and Naruto. Got hooked on Sayonara
Zetsubou Sensei (Good-bye Mr. Despair). Waiting for the rest of the subs to
come out. Just a riotout anime in the vein of FLC
Also, would highly recommend Melancholy of Haruhi as well. Watched that
last year. So, what are my new year's resolution? Same as last year I'm
afraid, get better at some weights, lose some weight, get a date and try to
find love. Simple, no? Wish me luck in the new year of '08. Tonight's blog
brought to you by Stone Temple Pilots - Days of the Week.
A bit behind on the blog, so I had best catch up while I have the time. Last
few weekends, the weather has been less than cooperative. First weekend of
December I would normally be up deer hunting first season shotgun with the
family. Not this year, had a ice/sleet/snow storm come in on Saturday. I
stayed at home and played Phantom Brave for the day. Last weekend, another
ice/sleet storm came in to visit. Stuck around the house, but the output from
the storm wasn't as bad as the previous week's. I managed to get out of the
house and do a little X-mas shopping. Even a little video game shopping for
myself as well. Picked up the next Growlanser title as well as a used copy of
Dragon Quest 8 . This weekend, I'm in at work trying to get a qualification
done before the end of next week. Looking good now that I put in a full day
Otherwise, the last few weeks have been spent at work grousing about all the
cold, ice, and snow. Finished up the storyline of Phantom Brave, but didn't
care enough for the gameplay to go very far into the "bonus" areas like I did
with Disgaea. So, I fired up Dragon Quest 8 to keep me occupied. Been
hitting the gym regularly, and yet I'm up to 173 now. What the heck? I've
even been really, really good with the eating habits and such. I just can't
figure how I'm gaining so much weight so fast. I dread to see what will
happen when I take off for a few days to have X-mas at the folks. Fat city.
Fortunately, I'm mostly done with X-mas shopping thanks to getting 1 big gift
for all of my nieces and nephews. Cash is going to bro and sis and folks.
I'm down to a couple of small gifts let to do.
Pet peeve from shopping. Being harassed about getting the chain "savings"
card. I don't care, I just want to buy your stuff. Ring it up so I can get
on with my life, thanks. Yes, Gamestop, I'm talking about you!
Still waffling on buying a new PC. At least the prices have gone back up
again which keeps me from buying. Also, got my raise info back recently. Got
a nice 5.5% raise. Even got a small bonus on to my end of year bonus as
thanks for efforts for the year. With that now in the bank, I'm in good shape
for putting another chunk down against my mortgage. With no major expenses, I
think I can be mortgage free on the house in about 2 years. Then I can get
back to building the savings again. Yeehaw!
Today's blog brought to you by Dragonette - The Boys
A bit behind on the blog. Time to rectify that! Last week was Thanksgiving
holiday for us Americans. It also meant that I would get Thur. and Fri. off
from work. So, on Turkey Day, Dad and I sit around, eating and watching
football. Weather was too cold/wet/windy for me to want to go work outside.
Friday, Mom and I got to my brother's girlfriend to get out hair cut. We end
up making almost a day of it as Mom decides to get her hair colored as well.
Weather still inclement enough that I don't want to play out in it. Saturday,
the weather finally warms up a bit. I end up going out to the timber, but
there snow is piled enough that I can't tell what type of wood is on the
ground. I end up pulling a few tops out that I had scouted earlier and then
quit. Sunday, Dad and I head out to the wood pile, fired up the log splitter,
and began splitting firewood for next year's use. Made really good progress
in the 4 hours we workd. My back felt really, really good. Looks like all of
this gym stuffs is paying off after all.
Long work week. Finally got my year end review and was ranked very highly by
my manager. It is one of those things I like to get recognized for. I should
find out this week what my raise will be based on the review. Got busted by
the safety glasses nazis when I popped out to the lab to move some computer
files around. *sigh* I can't wait to find out what annoyance this will be.
Went to the gym on Friday evening, and the new guy behind the counter ends up
giving away my gym ID to someone else by accident. Shesh!
Saturday was supposed to be deer hunting for me. Instead, a large
ice/snow/sleet/rain storm rolled through the area. Instead, I stayed in Cedar
Rapids and puttered around the house. A little laundry and some cleaning,
after that, played Phantom Brave most of the day on the PS2. Finally quit by
9:30pm when I realized I needed to grind some xp/lvls for my characters before
I could go on with the storyline. About halfway through the storyline and
while it is fun, it isn't as good as Disgaea which was its predecessor.
Fortunately, the storm dropped more sleet than ice or snow, so not a lot of
ice damage. I'll have to call home this evening to find out if Dad was able
to use my deer tag.
So far today, scraped off what sleet I could from my sidewalks, then church,
and then the gym. Weighed in at 171. Still trying to lose the holiday fat I
picked up from eating and sleeping too much in November. I always have good
luck losing weight when I stop going home on weekends and working out instead.
Shooting for 165 by springtime.
Today's blog brought to you by War - "Lowrider"
Finally finished playing Ar Tonelico the other night. Fun game, great to pick
up for an hour or two in the evening prior to bed time. Loved the in game
humor and running plots. Ending was a little weak. Combat, well, it wasn't
exactly what you would call challenging. All in all, a sweet little title.
Decided to throw in Phantom Brave now. Time for min-maxxing once again. If
you've played Disgaea, you know what I'm talking about. Already started
sucking me in last night, played an hour longer than was planning...just to
make it one more level or try one more thing out. *sigh*
In the bad news department, my old friend Pete from back home lost his step
son in a car accident on Monday morning. The stepson and 4 other kids in high
school were rumored to be drag racing, couldn't stop in time, lost control,
and went into the ditch. He died at the scene, the other 4 are in the
hospital. So, another funeral attendance date for me coming up soon.
Spent last weekend out on the farm once again. Really good November weather.
Spent Saturday out in the timber again. Got a section completed, moving
further north when I go back out again. Saturday evening folks and I met my
brother and his girlfriend for a meal to celebrate my brother's birthday.
Sunday, got the farm ready for winter by putting chains on the one tractor,
got the snow blower for the tractor moved down the main shed, got the hay and
grain tank set-up for the cattle Dad bought and then I went around the fence
lines and cleared out the young trees and brush that had come up in the last
few years. Sunday evening, celebrated my two nephews' birthdays with my
sister before I took off for CR.
Just a slow work week. Back to pondering about changing jobs again. Still
waffling on home computer. Still no dates. Hello status quo.
Tonight's blog brought to you by Prodigy - Voodoo People
Yet another quickie blog entry. Spent the weekend back on the farm. Puttered
around the timber for more firewood on Sat. morning with a long nap in the
afternoon. On Sunday, Mom and I went fishing and the only fish I caught was a
bass that was too small to keep. Otherwise, we sat around, half-froze in the
stiff NW breeze. Still, it was worth spending the time with Mom. That should
be my last fishing trip for the year. Otherwise, quiet life this week.
Temperatures have really taken a hit this week. Finally feeling like
fall/winter now. Many of the leaves are off the trees now. It wasn't a great
color season for fall this year. Trees stayed green late, then turned and
dropped in a quick succession. I'm not looking forward to winter. Furnace is
already running too much now. *sigh*
Still wrestling over home PC purchase. Got a nice Dell picked out at the
moment, but I still can't pull the trigger. Am I sad or what? Guess that's
about it for the week. Oh yeah, did my good deed last week and donated blood
again. Got a free t-shirt and a couple cookies as a reward. Whee! Tonight's
blog brought to you by Uniting Nations - Ai No Corrida
And now, my quickie update on my life at the moment. Last two weekends spent
out on the farm out in the timber hauling out more firewood for the coming
years. Work, still slow at the moment, still wanting to run my customers
through a pulp mill, backwards. Still playing Ar Tonelico on PS2, still
having fun playing, good sign. Enjoying this game much more than Rogue
Galaxy. Still pondering whether to buy a new PC or not. Still a few pounds
heavier than I was during the summer and it is still bumming me out greatly.
Still single and a social misfit, prolly not changing any time soon unless a
miracle...err..MIRACLE happens to change this sad part of my life. Still no
sign of Boot, I'm thinking she was kidnapped by alternative energy hippies and
is living in a commune somewhere in Sweden. Still anxiously awaiting the next
addition to the new loc guild. Side bonus, most of the lead blades have
reinced out, so I'm holding on to leadership at blade #6 rank.
All in all, stuck in a holding pattern. Otherwise, earlier this month made a
nice payment on my house mortgage from the second half of my farm rent for
this year. With no large financial surprises or expenses in the next two
years and I can pay off my house mortgage with my income + tapping out my
savings. Just about have my ducks lined up for eternal hermitude once I pay
off the house and get a home PC. Tonight's blog brought to you by True Faith
- New Order.
Well, I suppose I had better get around to the log. Guess I'll do that now
while I sit out in the lab waiting for a radio to load up. Spent last weekend
out on the farm. The weekend prior I was in town all weekend. While out on
the farm, started working the next section (NW side) for firewood. Splitting
time between opening up logging paths, hauling more firewood out for Dave
(Friend of family I was gathering wood for previously), and hauling any oak
out for ourselves. That was Saturday. Sunday was a full day of rain, so I
sat around and was lazy.
Been working on lifting a bit more lately. Unfortunately, the weight gain is
accompanying my change in gym practices. Weighed in at 172 last night. :( I
was hoping I could, drop pounds by changing up my routines a bit since all I
was doing was maintaining the last few months. So I'll keep monitoring to
make sure I don't get a huge inflation in weight as my body adapts to the
different exercise regime.
I've been kindof bummed at work the last few weeks. Slow start to the new
fiscal year. I've been stuck doing customer support for a few weeks, and I
hated it. I would've jumped jobs if it wouldn't adversely affect my yearly
salary adjustment. So, for now, I'm biding my time to see how good I'm going
to get rewarded for all of the crap I dealt with. If I get a cruddy raise, I
may consider jumping jobs to a different group.
In other news, I'm pretty excited about the upcoming guild changes coming to
Bat. I am saddened that my beloved loc guild is about to get phased out.
Well, the guild treated me well in the 12 years that it has been around. I'm
thinking of going the new nomad loc/barbie combo to finally try out the barb
guild. Habo-tank doesn't look doable for me and my boon count at the moment.
I am also getting closer to a final decision on whether to get home internet
Well, had better get back to the work. Today's blog brought to you by "Click,
Click, Boom" Saliva.
Time to get caught back up on the blog. Took 3 days of vacation last week due
to the "end of the fiscal year, burn your vacation or lose it policy" here at
work. Spent Wed.and Thur. and Sat. and Sun. blocking firewood for a friend of
the family. Trading him the firewood for some work on my tractor later on
this winter. Friday I escorted the folks down to CR for the fall antique
show. Dropped off at my place to drop off a small table and put together the
free futon I received from a friend. So now I can host someone in my spare
bedroom! woot! Otherwise, the only things I managed to mix in was an evening
of fishing with Mom (caught 1 nice catfish) and church and pizza afterwards
with the folks. Called some friends Sun. evening to catch up. Worked on
friend's wife to set me up. Really didn't get much help. :( She has someone
in mind, but has not been in contact with the person in a year or so. *sigh*
Looking more and more like I'll be a single hermit for the remainder of my
Unfortunately, being on vacation at home ended up putting a couple of pounds
on me due to eating too much bad foods. Up to 169 on weigh in for Monday
night. Back to the grind it would seem.
Currently playing Ar Tonelico on PS2 and enjoying the game a lot. Completely
avoiding the start of the fall tv season. Guess I'll be the clueless outcast
once again when people start talking about their favorite reality tv shows
Lame work week so far. Back to doing full time customer support till the
first program of the new fiscal year gets going. Asked to be loaned out, but
boss won't let me, yet. Let's, see, been PC shopping lately. So far I can't
find what I like at a price I like. Once I get a PC and home internet, that
will be the kiss of death of me ever finding a gal to marry. Sign me up for
Otherwise, found out today that current loc guild is going poof! What the
hell am I gonna reinc into now? LI'm going to need some creative thinking,
just a loss at the moment. *weep* Today's blog brought to you by "Run to
You" Bryan Adams.
Vacation: Wed Sept 26, back by Oct. 1. C-ya!
Been a long work week. My last full week of work before the end of the fiscal
year end here at Collins. Punched out 2 quals this week as well as a fast
update due to an oversight in the release process on another product. Turns
out, I corrupted the build that was submitted for release. Fortunately, it
isn't a HUGE deal, but still. I swear, that program is cursed, just nothing
ever goes right.
Last Sat., Don and I decided we were going to do the insulation of our attic
work. Stopped into first store, blower and insulation available, rental truck
to haul said items, not available. Go to the other store, truck and
insulation is a go, no blower till the next day. We said screw it, got the
insulation hauled at least done. I then mowed my yard, then went over to
Don's to watch the Iowa-Iowa St. football game. Jumped out to a 12-0 lead at
half time. Then it turned into a nail biter at the end with a last second
field goal to win 15-13. Great game, glad we got to watch it instead of
Sunday, we pick up the blower. Heavy old thing, took both Don and I to lift
it into my little truck bed. By 9am, we were off and running. I ran the top
end blowing the insulation around in the attic. Don stayed down to feed the
hopper. Very dirty job, but really isn't so bad once you get going. Lesson
learned, don't let the hose drop into the insulation or else you'll plug up
the line. That took us 20 min. to clear out. After 2 hours, we had
insulation done at my place and were over to Don's. It took us an hour to get
ready and then 90 min to blow it up. I decided to stay up top at his place.
Unfortunately, unlike my attic where I could stand up, Don's I had to stay in
a crouch the entire time. By 2pm, we were returning the blower and a good job
was wrapped up. I got an additional 9 in. of insulation up in my attic, and I
can tell the difference in the morning by how much warmer it stays. Don got
6-7 in. additional, and he noticed the difference as well. So, for 200 bucks
each and a weekend, hopefully we should get returns on our investment that
will cover that cost in a few years. Or less if gas prices jump up for
Looking ahead, I have 3 days of vacation left to use this month. Talking
pleasant fall weather next week, so I'll be out Wed-Sun. Also, this weekend
is looking good, prolly go fishing one day with the folks. Maybe I'll finally
relax enough to sleep more than 6 hours a night. Been stressed with the work,
so waking up early and can't get back to sleep.
Oh yeah, finished Rogue Galaxy for the PS2. It is an average game in my
opinion versus the 9/10 ratings I was seeing. I guess I just don't enjoy
having to hit attack and jump buttons in my RPG games. I prefer the old style
of select from a menu and move around a map style. Put in Ar Tonelico into
the PS2 for the next game. Looks really old school in terms of game play, so
I hope I'll enjoy it more.
Ah well, tired and out of motivation for the week. Got a few small things to
do early next week. Today's blog brought to you by "Harder Better Faster
Stronger" Daft Punk.
Well, 3 days back from vacation and I've finally found some downtime here at
work to get back to the blog. Vacation was very good and I was glad for the
time to be away from work. Starting with a week ago Friday, Mom and I slipped
off to go fishing down at the Hideaway Campgrounds near Guttenburg to fish off
the Mississippi River. Best day of fishing, hauled in lots of bluegill and
sheephead. That evening, the folks, my sister and her kids, and myself went
down to Farley to watch my brother race for the final points race of the
season. If my brother could place 4 places or better of just one competitor,
then he would take the points championship title for the season at the track
for his class. Well, as luck would have it, my brother's class would race
last. Due to my brother's placing in the heat race, he would start on the
pole position with the competitor only a couple places behind. Due to poor
conditions of the track by the late race along with several new guys to the
track, there were 3 cautions on the starting lap. There were a couple more
during the race, which kept adding to our aggitation and aggravation. Each
time my brother built a lead, someone would wreck out and force them to stop
and restart. However, my bro. drove a great race and ended up taking first
place for the race and ensured that he was track champion. Family gathered
afterwards for a group picture.
Saturday and Sunday had me out working on blocking out the wood I hauled out
of the timber earlier in the year. It was still too warm and vegetation too
dense to start back on bringing more wood out of the timber. Saturday night,
Dad decided he wanted to go to Dyersville for church and a supper out at the
local Pizza Hut. As fate would have it, church there was sponsoring a guest
priest and I got to hear of a man that had it all and then gave it all up to
be a priest. It was quite inspirational and has given me something to reflect
On Monday, folks and I went fishing down at Guttenburg for Labor Day. Another
good day of fishing, some bluegill and sheephead, as well as the whopper of
the year as Mom hauled in a 30 in. Northern Pike. On Tuesday, we travelled to
Cedar Rapids to begin the reason for my vacation. It was time to work on
updating some items in my house. Mainly, sanding and varnishing of the wood
floors in my house as well as repainting my bathroom. I rented a sander from
Home Depot and invested in paint, polyurethane, and supplies. Dad ran the
sander while Mom prepped the bathroom for painting while I moved all of my
furniture into the back bedroom after its floors were sanded. We laid the
first coat of polyurethane and paint and departed. On Wednesday, we did one
last fishing trip to Guttenburg, but the fish weren't biting in spite of a
On Thursday, we returned to my house to find that the polyurethane had not
really dried very well in the humid weather we had. So, I turned on the air
conditioning and then we set about painting the bathroom for a second coat.
After a couple of hours, the floors were dry enough to put the second
polyurethane coat down. Friday was a rainy day, so I ended up working on the
wood some more out in the field. Saturday, folks and I came down to start
putting wax down on the two finished floors. We started taking down all of
the windows in the house so Mom could wash each out on the deck. Meanwhile,
Dad worked on putting cement patch around sidewalk and landing that had pulled
away from the house. On Sunday, we took down a china cabinet and my
collection of opalescent glassware that I had been collecting since I was a
kid. We moved it into my living room as well as the rest of the furniture out
my spare bedroom into their respective places. I put down the 1st coat of
polyurethane in the spare bedroom and then tore off to work to use the free
All in all, we got a lot accomplished on my house. The floors are much nicer
looking now. Not a professional finish, as there are trapped bubbles and
marks in the finish, but I don't care. It is much better than it was. And I
like the new color in the bathroom. The lighter color works much better than
the purple that was there previously. All this for about 300 bucks, and a few
meals provided to the folks. Once I get the free futon moved in and get that
attic better insulated, I'll be done with the house stuff for the year. In
fact, I'll be ready to have guests come over now.
So, that's what I've been up to. I've enjoyed lots of little things with the
folks and hope I can recall them all when I'm aged. Anyways, yesterday I had
lunch with an old friend for lunch. Remember my previous post about this
lunch meeting, well it was just about making connections for her job as a
financial planner as well as catching up. Nothing more sinister than that.
Well, time to head out for yoga class. Picked up a couple pounds due to good
eatings from Mom and lack of exercise several nights. Oh well. Tonight's
blog entry brought to you by "Domino Dancing" Pet Shop Boys.
Going on a long holiday starting today at 8/30, won't return till Sept. 10th
at the earliest. (Have to use vacation up or lose it by Sept. 30th.)
And one other note: Boot, if you are reading my blog via the web, come back to
us soon and let us know you are still alive.
Rained all week this week. Every night was a thunderstorm, with a few
rumblers during the day. Walls in my basement are now seeping with water due
to all of the water in the ground. Now I truly appreciate a bit of wisdom
from a coworker, "never carpet the lowest level in your house". Fortunately
my basement is not carpeted, and everything of value is still staying dry so
Been a long week of answering customer questions and fighting the processes of
work. Basically, not rewarding at the best of days and these weren't the
Received an odd phone call this week. Old friend from high school called me
up out of the blue to try to arrange for a lunch meeting in a couple weeks.
Need to try to arrange for a place and specific time yet. Seems old friend
runs a small financial office and health insurance office in nearby town to
the farm. Dad ended up at her place and she recognized the family name and
asked about me. Guess he gave her my number/mentioned it was in the phone
book. Although, it is hard telling if she just wants to make contact just to
sell me something or if that is a cover story so she can justify trip and
lunch as business expense. Hard knowing the motivations of people. Sad
commentary of me that I'm suspicious of ulterior motives of people that want
to talk with me. My other suspicion is that this is some sort of "blind" date
feeler. It would be like Dad to try to arrange something like this. Or, it
really is just a "hey, let's catch up, haven't seen you in years" meeting.
Time will tell.
Been a bad last two weeks for me at the gym. With all of the goings on with
RL and work, my workouts have drifted down to 2 or 3 times a week, with almost
no lifting. Ballooned up to 170 lb when weighed in yesterday. Sort of
depressed me, how fast the weight comes on when let up slightly on workout
regime and eat a bit unhealthy. I feel trapped by the routine and diet. Was
much more fun when it was all about improvement instead of maintenance. Now
have to cut way back to work my way back down the pounds I've picked up.
Killing time this evening, ended up surfing the other blogs on the Bat site.
Didn't realize this is blog #196 entry for me. Would put me at about 15th
most frequent Bat blogger. I'd be top 10 if all of the logs of just big party
kills or bat summaries of the day were removed. Anyways, read Femko's blog
for the first time this evening. Interesting content, I'll have to watch for
his updates like I do with Conquer's poker ramblings in his blog.
Well, I should slide on home and get some rest. Tomorrow is the fantasy
football draft. Sadly, fall is on the horizon again, and then another long
winter. I feel the turning of the seasonal wheel, and it makes me sad.
Football and fall, hand in hand as well as dark mornings and evenings. Been
having those gray thoughts of giving up about finding companionship with
another. Just feeling too free to give it up for another. Although I've been
told the trade is worth it for a fleeting while. Must be getting tired, going
all emo now. Really time to end this before I go all whiny, again. Tonight's
blog brought to you by "Fade to Black" Metallica.
Running behind on updates it would appear. Previous weekend, went to the
races and watched my brother get taken out of the race by another driver. His
radiator blew out, so he flew down in his car and wrecked out my brother. Bro
was pretty hot, went across the pits, and was stopped by the officials before
anything could happen. All of us were pretty bummed out, and the rest of the
weekend. Saturday night, we finished putting the rest of the winter wood
supply away during the day. And then went to Dyersville for church at the
Bascillica and the an early birthday supper for Dad at the Pizza Hut there.
Sunday we went fishing, and didn't have great luck. Still a very nice day
though for fishing down by the damn in Guttenburg.
Finally got mega-project HF-CPS released on Friday. Now, I am still a bit
nervous we missed something in our testing or I screwed up some file in the
release process. Hopefully, all will be well and I can breathe a little
easier in the coming weeks once I get an official copy and play with it to
ease my fears. Friday night we went to the races again, my brother managed to
put his car back to gether and got some nice karma. The driver that took him
out last week flew into the wall during hot laps and couldn't race the rest of
the night so he drops out of the chase for the points championship. Bro ran a
good race and took first in the last race of the night. Folks and I got to
run down and get our pics taken in the winner's spot. Bro was really elated.
Just a couple more races to go with my brother holding a 6 point lead.
Otherwise, Saturday was a lazy one for me. Forecasts of day long rains came
true. I slept in till almost 10 am. Then took a 2 hour nap in the afternoon.
And yet I somehow went to sleep at 10pm and woke up this morning at 9 am.
Took off for CR to work on some house tasks I had been putting off. Managed
to finally put some strong cleaner on the tub to take out the rust and lime
stains. After a few hours of scrubbing and alternating doses of cleaner, it
came out fairly well. I want to kick the person who put those stupid tub
flower decorations in years ago, since the glue is still there and I can't get
it out. Otherwise, got a lot of the white to come back out on the tub floor.
Did a load of laundry, folded another, and got a load of dishes washed. Fell
asleep for an hour (yesh, more sleep!). Afterwards, went to gym for an hour
of cardio and then some price shopping for some home improvment items.
Planning on insulating my attic next month and possibly sanding down all of my
hardwood floors and resealing them, and possibly painting my bathroom.
Forgot to mention that on Monday I finally made the trip over to the hospital
to see Lisa. Both ankles in a cast as well as her left wrist, but in good
spirits at least. She had some aunts and uncles there so I really didn't get
much of a chance to really "talk" with her. Daryl showed up and we chatted a
bit. Then, everyone got kicked out of the room while she needed to freshen
up. So, Daryl followed me out to my truck where we proceed to chat away for a
couple of hours about all topics. Apparently Lisa can't recall the two hours
leading up to and including the accident. We shall see if she will recover
her memory. Otherwise, a lot of information that I will keep to myself for
Guess that's about it. Time to head home and find some supper. Tonight's
entry brought to you by "Up All Night" Slaughter
Well, I had better get caught up in a hurry with all of the latest news. On
the good news front, Lisa is now out of intensive care and is now in general
care. She'll be working on her rehab for a couple more weeks before she will
be fully released from the hospital. On the bad news front, last Friday
night, folks and I were watching my brother race. During the last lap, his
transmission blew up and the parts hit the car body. One piece struck under
where his elbow was resting, so he ended up having to go to the hospital to
get an x-ray taken. At least nothing was broken, but he'll be sore for a
month. Now on the lucky side, since it was a caution on final lap, he got to
keep his place in the previous lap to maintain his points lead.
On Saturday morning, it was raining so I decided to get my hair cut by my
brother's girlfriend at her place. Dragged Dad along to help pass the time.
We stopped and checked out my brother's race car and it was incredible. The
entire transmission was gone, housing blew apart and all. Just the bolts we
where it matched up with the engine were left. Afterwards, I got my curls
clipped off so I look "professional" again for a few more months. Otherwise,
nap and church. On Sunday, Dad and I started putting in more wood for the
winter. It was so muggy and cloudy, it felt like it was raining when it
wasn't. We got the job half done and quit for the weekend.
Work is coming along well. Finally got through a major process hurdle
yesterday afternoon, so my confidence is up now that I'll get the product
released next week. Got two more releases to test following this product
release, so looks like I'll stay busy for a few mmore weeks at least.
Weighing in at 167 or 168 depending on the day, just can't get past this
number. Yet, the crazy thing is that I'm now down to the last notch on my
belt now so my waist is a little slimmer than before. Not lifting weights
much these days, so it can't be more muscle to compensate for weight loss.
Who knows, maybe I'm holding more water now. Beats me. And started this week
on working on breaking one of my remaining bad habits, drinking diet pop. Now
packing in 2 16oz bottles of sugar free Kool-Aid to help me get through the
morning hours. I'll still have a diet pop over lunch and nurse it through the
afternoon. It was getting to the point I was drinking close to 40 oz. of pop
a day during the week. Time to cut back. Don't miss the caffeine, that I can
tell yet. Do miss the taste though. 8/ Prolly more psychological than
anything else. Today's blog brought to you by "Ballad of Poncho and Lefty" by
About time I get around to updating on the chaos and happenings in my life.
Previous weekend was good, spent an evening out with friends for a BBQ and
hanging around a fire pit. Good conversation and a mellow night to keep me
sane for the days to come. Then Tuesday night, folks and I went to Aarron's
wake. Managed a minute of Daryl's time, as there were still tons of people in
line waiting to offer their condolences. I spent more time talking with
Daryl's mother and other people I hadn't seen in a long time. Daryl looked
tired, but in a generally positive mood. It helped that it was a closed
casket wake I think. Funeral was on Wed. morning, folks and I again attended
service and burial as well as a lunch reception afterwards. Closed casket
funeral service as well. Since Lisa was still in the hospital, a friend of
the family recorded the service for her to view if she wished.
Warm day, but not overly so considering the time of the year. Funeral service
opened with "How Great Thou Are" which always brings me to tears. I remember
that song from the earliest funerals I can recall for both of my grandfathers.
In fact, I can't recall a funeral service that doesn't play that hymn. So,
my Pavlovian response is to tear up as soon as those opening chords are
played. Service was alright, although the 15 minute sermon could have been
cut down to 5. Both parents and I felt it drifted too far into preachy for a
funeral. At least the graveside service was very short. Again got to catch
up with people I haven't seen in years, but wasn't able to spend much time
with Daryl. I'm sure in the coming months we'll be able to converse a lot
At least work is going alright for me this week. If I can get through one big
process snafu, I should be able to release on schedule. Also helped that
another engineer went on travel in my place this week. Man, I REALLY hate
travelling for work, and even more so for this customer. I will be glad to be
done doing daily support for them. Just burned out.
Just found out that Wade's wife Jolynn was in an accident. Nothing serious,
but had to stay overnight in a hospital due to her being pregnant. And
speaking of hospital, Lisa is recovering well. The doctors are talking about
physical rehab starting up next week to get her standing again.
Doing well this month with the diet and exercise, appear to be hanging in at
166 this week. I'm down to notch 5, last notch on this belt now. Just a few
more pounds now, get those inches off of the love handles and the belly.
Although I'm really dropping in brute physical strength. Really doubt I could
do more than a couple bench presses at 225 these days. Although, 200 is still
fairly comfortable yet. Once I can get down these last few fat pounds off the
middle, I'll get back into more lifting again. Guess that's about it for me
today. Heading off to West Union to watch a combine demo derby! Never seen
one before, so this should be neat! Today's blog brought to you by "Amos
Moses" Jerry Reed
Wake tonight, funeral tomorrow, life is about to get brutal for me for the
next 24 hours.
A small miracle, Dad got a bad rumor. Turns out Lisa is still alive, but
still in really bad shape. Next 24-36 hours is crucial, internal bleeding,
and they need to move her to another hospital to operate. Daryl had to be
checked back in and out of the hospital today as well. Still no word on the
Please pray for more small miracles.
Lisa didn't make it through the night. Double funeral coming up. I'm barely
holding it together at work right now. I just look like have a bad case of
allergies at the moment.
I'm hurting, kindof bad at the moment. It's....empathy for my close friend
Daryl. For now, I'm going to talk about all of the good stuff that has
happened to me the last time since my update. Work was so-so, still making
progress to a release by the end of the month. The previous Saturday, Dad and
I went over and helped our friend Dave move his tools and equipment from his
house garage to his new shop. Things went quickly, as plenty of friends and
family showed up with trucks and trailers. By noon, we had the majority of
his items piled up on the floor in his new shop. Sunday morning, I went black
and red raspberry picking, as it was approaching the end of the season. I
quit by lunch time, as the temps were picking up and it was getting warm out.
In the afternoon, I stained the upper deck to get that job done for the year
(or 2). Another work week, more progress made.
I was able to arrange for a blind date lunch on Thursday. I could tell I was
in trouble the moment we met at the restaurant. She had already made up her
mind and it wasn't favorable. While cordial, she wasn't energetic or
forthcoming. It felt like an interview instead of a conversation. Second bad
sign, when asked about separate checks by the waitress after taking our
orders, she immediately said "two checks please". Third and final sign, she
immediately grabbed cash from her purse to take off and then tells me she
needed to get back to work. A follow-up e-mail from her confirmed my
suspicions. Tis ok though, she looked good on paper, but from what I could
tell, not much of a personality (or had hidden it) and wasn't very good
Then this weekend, folks and I went fishing down on the Mississippi again.
Beautiful day, but fishing was poor. Mostly small blue gill, only 2 bass, and
a couple of sheephead. I ended up buying lunch due to landing the smallish
fish. We ate lunch in a little shelter upriver from the damn. As Dad
commented, a wonderful day, and we were the only ones in the park. A shame
and a waste. Saturday night, folks and I went to the Delaware County truck
and tractor pull. I was disappointed, only 4 classes of tractors, and only 6
in each class at most. First 2 classes took an hour to run through. Just
slow paced, and I wasn't so interested in the trucks pulling. We even left
early , well, Mom and I made Dad leave early because we were both tired and a
bit bored. Sunday morning, we went to the polka mass in Farley. Much better
band this time around, and another lovely day for an outdoor mass under a
tent. Much cooler and a light breeze than last year. Afterwards, we went to
my brother's house to watch the parade. My brother's girlfriend's son was
getting tons of candy thrown to him again this year. The parade was the
normal small business floats, tractors, and rolling displays. No Shriners
though, only one high school band, so I'm guessing there is another parade
this weekend someplace.
And we got home around two pm to see two messages waiting on the answering
machine. A pair of calls, trying to reach me, and you could feel the edge in
the caller's voices. Get ahold of Chris they said. Mom and I thought the
same way, Chris's boy final succumbed to his MS. I called my friend Pete who
left the second message. He would be much more calm than Chris I reasoned.
Turns out, I was very wrong. Pete broke the news, bless his heart. My friend
Daryl was riding to Des Moines to Adventureland with his family, his wife Lisa
driving. For some reason, she lost control and went into the ditch. Daryl
and the kids were thrown from what I can gather. Daryl and his oldest
daughter are ok, and have already been released from the hospital. Lisa isn't
doing so well, she was flown to Des Moines and put into intensive care. So
far there is no spinal trauma or brain damage, but I don't know how bad the
internal injuries are. And with a deep breath and watering eyes, I must state
that Daryl lost his son, Aaron, and aa friend of his daughter's that was along
on the trip.
It just hurts me so much to even type that out. I keep crying little tears
when my mind drifts to it. I couldn't even stop my voice from cracking as I
told my sister about the accident an hour ago. It reminds me so much of the
time when Brett died in his car accident. I can't help but wonder how much
grief I'm feeling is associated with that time as well as this? I'm sure in
the coming days I am going to have much introspection into this. Expect a
much sadden Roger. Funny though, I am quite able to lie and say "fine" to the
generic question as to how you are doing by the random person. Got a test of
this by the guard as I came in to work to blog this out.
It is weird, if I can not think about Daryl's loss, I'm sort of fine. But
even in my introspection, I rage from tears to anger and numbness. I only
hope I can get through the next few days at work without saying something
totally stupid and the blasting off half-cocked. Right now I keep imaging
myself going off when pressed to travel down to St. Louis to hand hold a bunch
of fucking whiners that our piece of wuss-ass program manager won't grow a
pair to tell them to get stuffed and fuck off. Yes, they want me to fly down
and figure out some problem for them. And as you can tell, that is just the
sort of thing I need to try to keep a lid on as best as possible. Please,
pray for my friend Daryl, and his family, and for his friends, we all could
use it right now. Tonight's blog entry brought to you by ""If Everyone Cared"
Quick update on past activities in auctioneer mode. Went to races on Fri.
night, brother won again and got pics taken with him. Sat. morning, stained
the lower deck of parent's house. Sat. afternoon, went black raspberry
picking, got about 4 quarts in a couple of hours. Went to church, then went
out with my good high school friend Daryl to a campground to hang with his
family and another mutual high school friend of ours and his family. Sunday
morning, got Daryl to come out at 9am to pick more black raspberries. I got
at least 6 quarts picked. Good weather, low 80's, sunny, low humidity, a
complete rarity for this time of the year in Iowa.
Black raspberries are 2 weeks early this year, probably due to the early heat
in June. Gooseberries will be ripe this weekend. Yards are already acting
stunted like they do in August. Hopefully this will mean I won't have to mow
too many more times. Already hearing locust singing, very early for them.
Even found a pair of locust shells on the side of the house this morning.
My poor birthday presents (apple trees). Some damn green beetle is attacking
the leaves. My one tree looks like shit right now, curled brown edges, or
chewed up edges or brittle brown with holes. Sigh, I just hope it makes it.
Got my deck stained on Sun. evening and installed the screens on my front door
now that I got them restrung a week ago. I love that I can now get a breeze
into my front room with the doors open. Too bad opening the door makes my
living room smell like stain.
Finally beat Baal on Disgaea 1 last week. Put the game away and bought 3 more
games, Odin Sphere, GrimGrimoire, and Star Ocean (used). Playing GrimGrimoire
currently. Love the story, gameplay is so-so, and from what I read, it is a
short game. Prolly worth 20 bucks used, don't pay full price.
Weigh in at gym, 168. So, holding steady at the moment. Changed up the
workout routine, will see if I can get a little back on the bench press
strength here in the coming weeks while holding the weight the same.
Tomorrow is the 4th of July holiday. Taking off for home here shortly, plan
on going fishing with the folks, if it isn't raining in the morning (chances
in the forecast). Got races coming up Fri. night again. And it looks I'm
getting set up on a blind date soonish, arranged by friend/coworker. More
details as I learn 'em. This should be an adventure. Tonight's blog brought
to you by "Emotional" Frank Fork.
Better get caught up to date before I forget. Last weekend was Father's Day
weekend. Friday evening, folks, my sister and my oldest niece, all went to
the races at Farley to catch my brother racing again. Due to their starting
system based on point totals, my brother got to start at the back of the pack
and finally capture the lead on lap 9 out of 10. He hung on to win in a great
race by him. On a funny note, the previous Sun. evening he got wrecked pretty
bad in a race, so he ended up borrowing the sheet metal from another car for
this race. He ended up running under a different number which confused the
announcers a bit.
On Saturday, the folks and I did our trek up to Prairie Du Chien, Wisc. for
the annual Rendevous Days which I've elaborated upon in previous year's blog
entries. Same get up, although I did have to punch in some new belt holes for
the customer due to my loss in weight, which was nice. Warm morning gave way
to rainy weather by lunch time. We ended up grabbing a quick lunch and then
headed home to beat out the rain. Sunday, folks and I went fishing below the
damn on the Mississippi in Guttenburg. Mom caught more, but I caught better
quality with a nice 3lb catfish and a couple of sheephead for fillets.
Otherwise, we caught several bass that were too small to legally keep. Warm
and sunny with a good breeze to make it tolerable. I got lucky on my catfish
catch, we just got it into the net when the line for my hook broke. Another
minute or two later and I would've had just another fishing story about the
one that got away. After a pizza lunch, we headed home for a nap, cleaned the
fish, and then a pleasant grilling of some ribeye steaks. Yum!
Busy week at work, spending too much time dealing with customer issues, not
enough time on my project work. *sigh* Deadlines approaching next month too.
8( Weighed in was at 168, which is "ok". No decline, no gain for the week.
Donated blood yesterday, so I'm hoping that will help drop a pound. *wink*
Although, I did eat 4 free cookies afterwards, so I prolly put on a pound
instead. But it was for a good cause!
No races this Friday night due to large amounts of rain overnight which
carried on through the morning hours. Looks like we may get some more here
before the evening plays out. I'll still head back home this weekend,
although I should stick around and work. However, it is Edgewood Days this
weekend, and I may try to go to the demolition derby on Sun.Actually, I'm sort
of bummed/elated, now I don't get a chance to see if the interesting gal at
the races last week was going to be there again this weekend. Yeah, that's
right, bummed/elated, and this is prolly why I'm still single. Damned
nervousness and anticipation, my introvert nature is in conflict with my
meeting women goal.
Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "That Smell" Lynryd Skynyrd
Kindof beat for some reason this week. By 8:30 pm last night, I was so tired,
I half-thought about heading to bed. Instead, I thrashed through a few more
item levels in Disgaea. Love, love this game. I'm trying to build up to take
on the final boss, Baal. After that, I can put the game away and play a
different PS2 game. Been spending each evening doing a few more levels. I
figure in a few weeks I should be tough enough to finish off the game.
Speaking of evenings, I finally fired up my X-mas present grill again. And
while I was out grilling, I got to meet my across the alley neighbor
officially. So, now I have one more neighbor to my south to meet. I can't
figure if they are nocturnal or only out for an hour during the daylight
Weight number is approx. 167 this week. Last week I hit a low of 166 and a
high of 168 earlier in the week. With birthday cake tomorrow, I'm sure I'm
not going to like my number come next Monday. I need to stop going home on
the weekend, been eating too well (read: too much calorie intake) when I'm on
the farm. My own cooking is poor enough that I can keep my calorie count
down. I still want to get to maintaining in the low 160's before the end of
the summer. Boy, I need to get back into 3 day a week lifting routines again.
My strength is way, way down these days since I have gone to a larger cardio
routine. And once a week yoga just isn't quite enough to get better at the
stretches. I am however figuring out most of the poses, if only I can
remember them later for stretching purposes.
Not quite back to 75% reaver rep. Shit, I'm still behind 10% from that 20%
loss a couple of weeks ago. Just not motivated to earn back yet. Currently
pondering a tarm-templar reinc to get on the xp fast track. Watching Ewige
rack up meg after meg day after day makes me wanna give it a shot. My 50k a
day solo xp is just horrid. I do make 50k cash a day, so funding a reinc is
coming along easily enough.
Well, that about wraps up my hobby blog post of the month. Wish me a happy
birthday tomorrow (June 9th). Today's blog brought to you by "Burning Heart"
I suppose I had better get caught up on the blogging. Two weekends ago, the
folks and I, along with my sister and her rug rats went to the races on Friday
evening to catch yet another exciting win by my little bro. at the Farley race
track. He started out 6th in the field, and moved to first in a few laps, and
then had a monster lead. Unfortunately, he slides around and stalls, causing
the caution to come and push him to the back of the field. However, he races
a good race and come backs from dead last to take the checkered flag.
Unfortunately, one of the guys wasn't happy and called to have my brother take
his car to the shop to have his engine measured. 90 minutes later, the
results come back and my brother was perfectly legal. But, this means my bro.
had to miss the rest of the races, we didn't get a family pic in front of the
car after races were over, and my stressed out the folks the entire time.
Otherwise, Memorial Day weekend was fairly quiet for me. On Monday, I hauled
back my early birthday present, a pair of apple trees for planting in my yard.
I have them in my backyard, on the south side of the house and on the
southwest corner of the house. Then, another long week of work. I've got a
pair of customers that have been working me over. I am hoping this week will
go a little bit easier.
This weekend was a free fishing weekend in the state of Iowa. Sat. I had
originally planned to go fishing with Mom, but she got volunteered to go with
my sister and her family on a shopping trip. So, I helped Dad moved a portion
of cattle over to another pasture and then mowed the yard around the home
place. Otherwise, a 2 hour nap and church and then wrapping up my reading of
Steven King's Dark Tower series. In a nutshell, the series started off
great in books 2 and 3, stuttered in 4, stalled in 5 and 6, and then
nose-dived in the 7th book. Years ago I was worried he would never finish the
series, now I'm not all that happy that he did. I did like the Gunslinger's
fate, that felt right. The climatic battles with Mordred and the Red King and
even Dandelo were complete and utter hackery. I could accept Eddie's fate and
even Oy's, but Jake's and Susannah's, bleah. That whole happy ending with the
oncoming amnesia of her past, wtf. Ah well, on to another series I guess.
Then today, folks and I went down to Guttenburg to go fishing by the lock and
dam in spite of rain in the area. We got a nice spot along the bank, where I
start hooking into a pool of bass. I landed a pair of bass that were good
enough to fillet. A couple more I had to throw back due to being too small.
Mom got a couple of non-keeper bass as well. Right at noon, a rain shower
moved into the area, and we split to pick up a Casey's pizza and ate that out
on a park bench after the shower had passed. We then got home for a round of
naps. After cleaning the pair of fish and asking and receiving a spaghetti
meal to go, I'm back in C.R. ahead of more rains. Just a nice weekend all the
way around. I'm looking forward to next weekend for my birthday is on Sat.
Wish me a happy 35th. 8) Tonight's blog entry is brought to you by "Up All
Back from vacation, and how does Bat greet me? I lose 20% of lvl 3 reaver rep
in the 6 days I was gone and bank robbers run while I'm on, costing me 200k.
Yeah, really inhibited my drive in playing once again. F. U. too Bat.
Anyways, vacation was good in spite of my homecoming on the mud. Spent Wed,
Thur., and Fri. out in the timber getting the remainder of the NE side oak
tops pulled out. Sat., Mom and I hauled my X-mas grill down to my place and
then rested up the afternoon before church. After church, parents and I sat
alongside the Turkey River in the Elkader City Park while we ate hot dogs and
hamburgers. Sunday I went out to the NW section of the timber to begin
scouting and prep work there. Sunday evening, folks and I went to Dubuque
County Fairgrounds to watch my brother race. What luck, we got to witness his
first winning race of the season. He started in 6th out of a field of 17, and
quickly got to the front of the pack by lap 3. After a caution and restart
after lap 5, my brother held off two challengers for an exciting finish.
Folks and I ran down to get our picture taken with the car and trophy. The
side-benefit of being a sponsor after all. *grin* Monday, Mom came out to the
timber with me in the morning. She said and read on a log while I started my
logging out efforts. I went back out in the afternoon and then headed back to
CR in the evening in time to catch the Heroes finale.
Vacation was so good, that I actually felt much calmer on my drive back home.
Luckily, I got most of the nasty program work off my back before I left, so I
didn't return to much immediate stress. Which is good, because I'm just not
feeling terrible motivated just yet. Weather for the 6 days off was pretty
close to perfect as it gets, with sunny weather in the mid-70's to low 80's.
Morel hunting was horrid this year, either it was cold and wet or warm and
dry, just didn't get the warm and wet pattern. Ground is really starting to
dry up around here, the grass isn't growing very fast already. Which is good
news, less mowing for me! Interestingly enough, I even saw fireflies out last
evening already. I thought those little guys come later! On the downside,
the hay crop just isn't doing very well for first crop. Very short and
Looking forward to the Memorial Day weekend. We plan on going to the Friday
evening races at Farley to catch my brother once again. Here's hoping for 2
in a row! I'm hoping next week I get a chance to fire up my new grill.
In other good news, just under 167 on my weigh in last night at the gym.
Looks like I managed to fight off another pound on my vacation, in spite of
eating cinnamon rolls, a whole batch of cookies, and other such baddies.
Tonight's blog brought to you by "Lift Me Up" Howard Jones
On vacation to the farm starting tomorrow (Wed.) through Mon. the 22nd. See
ya in a week!
Hum...looks like I'm a bit behind on the blogging again. Spent this past
weekend and the one prior out on the farm. Now with spring around, I'm able
to start doing outside things again. Previous weekend, I got the firewood in
the shed for this coming winter. Then on Sunday, Dad and I cleaned out the
cattle pen (hauled cow poop). Ended up having a rough go of it with the new
used spreader that Dad bought. In order of incident, one of the webbing bars
broke, took us over an hour to reset the chains and relink them all up and
then broke the drive shear pin, twice. Luckily, a neighbor had spare parts
for Dad to borrow from otherwise we'd had been stuck. Oh yeah, forgot that
the hydraulic cylinder on the gate leaked badly, so we had to leave that up
and partially load up the spreader. With all of the breakdowns, it made for a
longer day. On top of that, it was a very breezy day, which meant I got
covered in spray. I smelled very "organic" the rest of the day.
This weekend, Dad and I went out morel mushroom hunting. Neither of us had
large amounts of success. Between us, we came home with enough for two good
meals. We just haven't had the heat and the ground is getting dry again. We
are going to need some sunny days and a good storm to bring out the mushrooms.
Most of the ones I found were out in the pasture, and almost a week old (back
when we had some warm weather). After lunch, I took my nephew Cayden out and
had him drive the tractor to disc down the corn patch for the wildlife prior
to planting. The little guy, for going on 6 years of age, drives really well.
He hardly drifted and didn't need much coaching. It was funny to watch him
jump the first time he oversteered the tractor and got the honk from the power
And then today, I cleaned up the disc by scraping down the blades and then
putting a coat of used oil on them and parked it down in the shed for the
year. Aftwards, I helped Dad check and fix fences in the pasture so Dad can
send out his small herd to graze.Then, I filled my 4 buckets of dirt for use
around the house. Each trip to the farm, I've been loading up on farm dirt to
fill in low spots around the house that the previous owners had overlooked.
And for the afternoon, I took a nice, long nap and enjoyed the peace and
Looking ahead to a fast work week as I finally wrap up one project that has
been dragging itself out for months. Well, next week it should officially
end, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, or another train.Otherwise,
the apple blossoms are out, and my tree has a good showing this year.
Hopefully that will translate into a nice apple crop. The candy apple tree
barely had any on the flip side. Lilacs have been in bloom for better than a
week. The planters are running as the corn crop is going into the ground.
Not as fast as some years, and some farmers look to be far behind already.
I'm sure the corn market will fly up on the predicted wet weather to start the
week. Well, after 9:30 pm now, so I better get home. Have a nice little
batch of fried mushrooms waiting for me at home. mmmmm. I'm sure my weight
crept back up again this weekend. Weighed in at 168 after some good progress
on Thur. Well, as long as I don't go too far beyond 170, I'll happy. Still
trying to fight my way down to 164 as a goal before my birthday in June. Wish
me luck! Tonight's blog brought to you by "Sober" by Tool.
Finally got the last of the oak firewood blocks hauled out of the field and up
to the farm this past weekend. I estimate it was about 9 loads to get the job
completed. Looks like spring may be here to stay finally in Iowa. Trees
still haven't fully leafed out yet. Although, the plum trees are just now
finally starting to push out blossoms as well as the cherry trees.
Mowed the yard for the first time last Friday. Doesn't take more than 45
min., but boy is it rough. It does not look that bad, but my mower bounces
around like mad. My guess is that the previous owners had dogs that went out
and roughed it up over the years. And my new grass is finally starting to
come up in patches. I'm hoping it will finish up nicely here in the coming
months. Got a chance to smooth it out nicely before all of the rains hit this
Otherwise, not a whole lot new here. As alluded to, I spent the weekend out
on the farm for the first time since Easter. Nice weather for the first time
this spring. I'm looking forward to my week off next month to really get
Work is grinding away slowly. Got another release done, two more to go before
I'm out of work. Still waiting to see if the June project is going to happen
or not. Puttering with the VBA-Access 2003 program now. What a fookin' mess.
Still finding careless mistakes everywhere in the product from previous
developer's tender care.
Ground my way to 61% to lvl 4 Reaver rep. At current pace, may get there in a
month ahead of projection. Found a nice run that gets me easy rep daily...as
long as too many people don't clutter the area. Old itch to game hard at home
in the evening is abated due to Ewige's busy RL.
Weigh in last night, 170.5, which is good. Back to weight before Easter
bloat. Now, let's see if I can continue the good work and get to those 16x
numbers in the coming weeks. Even keeping up with a weekly yoga session.
Still sucking, just not as bad as the first couple of times. Tonight's blog
brought to you by "Be My Lover" La Bouche
Picked up holiday weight and still can't shake it. Gah, now pants feel tight.
I can't believe 4-5 pounds makes that big of a differencee. Apparently, it
went to my waist, all of it. In other news, I'm now 48% to ultimate reaver
rep (vl 4). Man, the grinding on this one is taking a long while. I figure
if I can average 5% a week, then I'm about 3 months away at most.
Fortunately, I do a little better than that, but I'm still looking a month or
so away from finishing up. After that, comes the gr-gr-gr-grind of xping.
Really need a home internet account to really get the xp that I want.
Lord_chaos rep, 24 charm, 28 wrath, and gaining very slowly now. Ah well, at
least I can nuke corpses now with the blade.
Finally finished up Final Fantasy 12 the other day. Game just didn't grab me
like some of the previous ones. The game world was pretty, but I didn't give
a rat's ass about any of the characters or their stories. Not sure what was
missing, but I just didn't feel any connection to the characters. Maybe I've
played too many FF's. So, I'm back to Disgaea to work on turning my
characters into munchkins and min-max to go after the "extra" worlds and mobs.
Funny, I love those characters much more than the FF12 ones, and the story
line was much, much more brief in Disgaea. Guess I'm a sucker for funny
anti-heroes and their side-kicks.
In other news, it is Friday night, and I'm sitting at work mudding. Lordy, I
need a life. That is all. Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "Uh! All
Time to get the old blog caught up on my wacky hi-jinks. Last weekend was
Easter, which I spent with the folks. Weather was miserable with high temps
in the 30's and 20+mph winds all weekend long. Dad and I attended Good Friday
mass (once again, another low attendance at the local parish). Then, I
escorted the parents down to Cedar Rapids so they could peruse the antique
show. Dad came back with several buys once again. Saturday I helped Mom
babysit my sister's youngest two children for the day. Not much else really.
Sun, parents and I attended early mass (packed as usual). Afterwards, we
prepared Sunday dinner. My sister could not attend due to sickness on her
part. My brother and his girlfriend made it 15 min. late. My parents and I
thought no one was coming, so we had almost finished eating when they showed
up. Only other thing of note is that I got my hair cut by my brother's
girlfriend. I'm all set for warmer weather now, if it would only get here.
Shesh, two straight weeks of sub 40 highs. All of the trees budded out and
now, no progress. Even the grass seed I planted in the front yard has not
germinated in this weather. Here is hoping that next week the weather finally
returns to normal. Global warming my ass. I find it extremely amusing that
when the national news outlets talk about massive snow storms in DC that they
don't ever mention that global warming could also be causing this as well.
Otherwise, not much new going on. Still hitting the gym regularly, but little
progress on the weight loss. Weighed in at 171 yesterday. *sigh* Guess I'm
going to have to do a 2-week aggressive diet to drop some pounds and then
return to normal for maintenance mode. Just can't do that when I go home to
visit the folks, as Mom feels it is her imperative to overfeed me with home
I don't feel like going into the current situation with my oldest nephew at
the current moment. Suffice to say, I hope this is for the best for him.
Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "Heaven Sent" by INXS
Man, I am just in a pissy mood this afternoon. Trying to qualify one product,
and then fighting fires for everyone else. Normally, it wouldn't bother so
much, but the main product is acting like a prima donna about telling what my
time/priorities are. I am usually granted some "empowerment", but these guys
are getting micromanaging and I don't care for it one bit. Right now, just
every little thing just makes me clench my teeth in agitation. I think I need
a break soon.
On the other hand, my previous weekend was fun. Went down to Ames to visit
the college buddies again. Spent the weekend gaming and a D-n-D campaign
along with some pizza. Not a bad way to go. Amazing, those two guys still
living in a cramped little apartment. Always finding money for gaming and
food, and can't scrape enough to go out and buy a house to move into. Live
for today I guess.
Went out and worked up the front yard. Tore up the ground from where they
fixed the sewer line last fall. Of course, 15 minutes into the job, the
handle on my hoe broke off. Had to run and pick up a new one, which pushed my
effort till far after sunset. I even turned on the truck headlights for the
last part so I could finish up. Raked in some grass seed. Good timing, since
it has been raining off and on today. Man, there was a lot of clay, so it was
hard hacking. I count my blessings that all I have is one small blood blister
on my left index finger. Well, back to grinding on the FQT, again. Tonight's
blog entry brought to you by "Right Turn" Alice in Chains.
Wow, just feeling drained tonight. Must be the caffeine wearing off, or
exercising too many nights in a row. Who knows. In Bat news, I'm past reaver
rep lvl 3, and grinding my way to level 4. My goodness, reaver strike
freaking rocks, I can't wait to see blood harvest andmore points in way of the
scythe. Reaver blast spells, kindof meh. The 1 round is sweet, but the
sps/dam ratio is pretty poor, even considering I have 90% mastery of
destruction. I find I'd rather use acid rain from loc guild for a cheap area
spell rather than word of geno. In weight news, still bouncing around the
170-172 mark. I think I'll have to go into seclusion for 3 weeks to get those
10 pounds of fat off that I want gone. I just don't have the will-power when
I go home at night to sit there and be hungry. I can pull it off if I'm on
the road or at work, but easy access to food at home at night is killing any
gains I make. In work news, I'll be glad when next week is done. Two
products to push out the door by the end of the month. After that, comes
Easter and a couple of qualifications to look forward to.
Not much else, other than I'm getting crushed in NCAA men's basketball pool
once again this year. Next year, I'm hiring a monkey to make my picks.
Slowly considering getting a home PC system and DSL again. However, it would
be to play WoW. meep! Hoping the spring weather will get me to reconsider
that option. Or I need to get a girlfriend option installed. Tonight's blog
meanderings brought to you by "Heart of Glass" Blondie
Well, let's see. Work has been grinding along. Still trying to fix issues in
the project I inherited recently. Finally making some good progress and
getting over some of the learning curve. Spent last weekend out on the farm.
Snow piles everywhere yet at the time. So, I stayed inside and got caught up
on farm paperwork and wrote out those checks for land taxes and building
insurance. 8/ This week we had temps crack 70 degrees for a day. With most
of the snow melting off now, it is now time for the mud season. Also, with
the melting of snow, I caught my annual cold. My theory is that snow traps
all sorts of virus and bacteria in itself, and when it melts, those little
buggers are freed up to infest us. Everyone at work has been sniffling with
In other news, my weight is back to around the 170 mark, which is good news.
I haven't been working too hard on losing weight, but the recent travel and
warmer weather seems to have helped me lose a couple pounds. I'm hoping the
trend continues! The reaver/loc reinc is coming along. Still trying to grind
reaver rep yet to make lvl 3. I'm about 22% away from that level, which I'm
hoping to get sometime this weekend. If I'm right, all of the masteries
should open up and I can train off a ton of safe xp so that I can start
working towards building my total xp worth again. Been feeding off my
non-safe xp to my loc blade to build that up, but I got tired of constantly
dying to the vblow method. Now I'm just bagging around 2M of xp, just waiting
for an unlucky stun-crit bounce to really tick me off. Guess that's about if
for now. Tonight's blog brought to you by "Bound for the Floor" Local H.
Well, let's get caught up shall we? Last weekend, we here in Iowa got nailed
by a massive ice storm. Many parts of Iowa lost power overnight, and some
places still even today still haven't gotten power restored. I only lost
power for a minute, enough to screw up all of my clocks. My old roomie didn't
have power for almost a day. In fact, he came over to my place and another
friend's place to hang out and keep warm. Need that electricity to power the
furnace igniters and blower. I made it to church, and just as service was
ending, the power went out thus ending mass early.
Then this week on Wed. afternoon, I found out that I had to travel to St.
Louis on Thur. to support some training for our customers. I got stuck on a
7:30 am flight, which meant I had to be up at 5 am. Funny thing, I forget to
take off my watch, and it doesn't set of the metal detector. Yet I still have
to take my shoes off? Okay, I feel safe. Anyways, we get in the air, and
then have to go into a holding patter for 45 min. due to storms in St. Louis
which shut down the air port. I find out later, that the same storms create a
near blizzard in Iowa the next day. I finally land an hour behind schedule,
get lost on the way to the customer, finally get there, and manage to back the
rental car into a barrier. So now, I have a busted quarterpanel. *sigh*
Fortunately, the work with the customer goes relatively smoothly in the next
The hotel is average. I can't believe I get jacked 100+ bucks a night for a
room though. The customers want me to leave my laptop behind so they can use
my engineering tools. I laugh at them. So, by 4 pm, I'm heading out to turn
in my rental car. I have to fill out an accident report. Who knows when I'll
hear back. Forunately, my workplace forces us to take the insurance, so I'm
hoping I won't have to pay too much. By 4:45 I'm in the airport, waiting for
my 7pm flight. Of course, we don't get off the ground until almost 8:30 due
to planes and crew coming in late due to backedup airports around the Midwest.
I finally drag home to bed around 10pm. Oh yeah, I leave Iowa, single digit
wind chills, land in St. Louis to almost 60 degree weather. I nearly die of
heat stroke, because I'm wearing my winter gear. I arrive back to Iowa, to
scrap off the ice and snow from my truck in single degree wind chill weather
Then this morning, my crappy luck continues, I go downstairs to the laundry
room and find the window on the floor. Somehow, the window came off of its
brackets and busted out the glass. So, I had to make a run to the Home Depot
to get some plexi-glass since they don't sell windows in that size. Spent a
couple hours getting that cut plexi-glass cut to fit, and then using the
Handyman's Secret Weapon, duct tape, to seal off the leaks around the frame.
Well, at least from the outside you can't see how redneck this looks.
I'm afraid to find out what's next in store for me. Oh yeah, forgot to
mention that I'm stuck on the dreaded project with no budget and tons of
problems. Heaven help me. Wonder if it is time to go to a new department.
Tonight's blog brought to you by "Wouldn't It Be Good" by Nik Kershaw
Going to be a short post. Been sick with a sinus cold all weekend. Got
enough energy/cold meds into my system to make it into church and then into
work. Unfortunately, no enough energy to focus, just sitting here surfing
around and watching the first eps of Naruto: Shippuden on youtube. Think I'll
call it a day and go back home for a nap. I haven't slept well for two
straight nights with the constant congestion and fever. Work last week pretty
much sucked. Things are getting dumped on me. Valentine's Day was last week.
Wore all black clothing per the tradition of mine. Maybe next year I can
wear red if I have a sweetheart. Pretty much in an emo funk at the moment.
Looking forward to a weekend in Ames for a birthday party for my good friend
down there. Hoping I get better before then. Today's blog entry brought to
you by "Rock Me Amadeus" Falco.
Sigh, I've gone from almost daily blogging to nearly twice monthly. Guess
I'll have to get a bit more energetic about again here in the near future.
Major event in my life was Dad's farm sale last weekend. I took Thur. and
Fri. off to help with the set-up. Thur. was a nice enough day, sunny, light
breeze, temps in the teens. Basically, Dad and I got the used tools and parts
loaded out on the hay rack as well as moved out several pieces of the
equipment to be sold. We had a neighbor come up with a large 4-wheeled drive
tractor with a 12 ft. front blade to push the snow out in the corn field for
parking and in the hay field for the equipment parking. He had that job done
shortly after lunch which by that time we had the hay rack loaded and could
spend time putting the equipment out. Friday was a much colder day, and a
stiff NW wind putting the wind chills in around the -15 to -20 range most of
the day. Fortunately, my uncles Gary and Earl came out to help along with my
cousin Tiffany and eventually my brother. However, due to the extremely cold
temperatures, the diesel fuel in the one tractor kept gelling up causing it to
stop running smoothly. In fact, in the morning we couldn't start any of the
tractors, even after have their engine block heaters plugged in. We ended up
having to put kerosene heaters with blowers, like they use in dairy barns,
near the engine blocks to warm them up enough to get them to start. By early
afternoon, we had everything set-up and a neighbor a mile and a half down the
road offered his heated workshop to store the tractors overnight so they would
start right off the morning of the sale. The downside, we had to drive the 3
tractors over there, 2 of which did not have cabs to protect from the weather.
My brother and I drove the cab-less tractors over and it was a cold ride. I
have a pair of aviator goggles that I used to protect my eyes from the
weather, so with almost no flesh exposed, it was a tolerable ride.
Saturday morning, the day of the sale, and we wake up to howling NW winds
again, this time putting the wind chills to -25 and starting temps of -6
below. My parents and I mill around the house, always watching the window,
watching the snow blow across the fields, hoping that people will come,
worrying that the equipment would sell for a reasonable value.
The sale would start at 10:30, and by 9am, we already had our first lookers.
We geared up in our winter gear and braved the weather. My brother and I
drove the tractors back, and this time, we travelled into the wind. A cold
enough day that the exhaust from the tractors hung low in the air and cold
enough that the plastic and glass around my goggles became ice cold in
minutes. But, we perservered. Quickly, my sister and I took photos from
around the farm, our last memories of what we once had. By this time, several
more people had arrived.
The auction starts off right about 10:30, and our parking lot in the field is
nearly full. Hard to believe, but we ended up having close to 200 bidders on
one of the coldest days of the year. The first hay rack is a mish-mash of
antique stuff that Dad had collected over the years, but didn't want to keep
or had no more use for. That stuff sold extremely well. The second hay rack
was the aforementioned tools and parts, that didn't sell as well as the first,
but nothing stayed behind after the sale was over. After 2 hours, both hay
racks worth of stuff were sold off, and we were on to selling my old Camaro
off. Due to the cold weather, we couldn't get it started on Fri. or Sat., but
that didn't deter the bidding. It brings 2500 dollars. I'm overjoyed!!! I
was hoping for 1200-1500 at most. I should have known though, the first item
sold on the auction, Dad was hoping to sell for a dollar, and it brings 50. I
guess cold people come to buy!
After my car, we sell the outdoor stuff, the fencing materials and the like,
and then it is on to the machinery. I have a good friend of mine from back
home to do my bidding for me. It is bad for business if it looks like the
sellers are bidding up their own items to make them sell more, so we arrange
for this proxy bidding. Besides, I wanted to own the items, not up-the-bids.
We need not worry about protecting Dad's stuff, just about everything sells
for the high end of Dad's estimates. I ended up buying the smaller 10 ft.
Case disc and the 970 Case tractor as well as the 4-bottom Massey-Ferguson
plow for general farm support. I spent a little over 5 thousand for the
equipment, with 4750 spent on the tractor. I'm still happy.
By three o'clock, everyone has dispersed as well as much of the machinery and
all of the hay rack items. A sense of relief is on our minds, the auction has
gone well, and no accidents occur. Afterwards, Mom overhears a couple of men
talking, trying to figure out why my friend bought the tractor and equipment.
She laughs to herself she says. The auction brings in nearly double what Dad
thought would have been satisfied with.
Besides the auction, my work load has slowly been dwindling down. As of now,
I'm out of stuff to work on. I'm hoping I can pick up something to work on.
I hate the in-between project time, since I have to have projects to charge to
or I'll get punished. And speaking of punishment, I've been keeping up the
gym routines, and still can't make any headway on losing weight. Appears my
body has adapted to the point that I'm maintaining even with exercising 4
nights a week plus whatever I do on the weekends. Guess it'll take a stricter
diet or more exercise or, I'm hoping, the spring weather to get my body out of
Speaking of gym, I tried a yoga class a couple weeks ago. Then, I had to skip
it due to auction last week, and working late this week. I'm hoping to make
it back again this coming week. I hurt from all of those poses, and it sucks
to have to keep watching the instructor to figure out what to do. I need to
be like the other members that know the moves and can focus on the move itself
rather than me struggling for balance.
Alright,just about time to head out for the weekend and slog along in FF12.
I've already decided not to do all of the goofy stuff to "see and do"
everything in the game after I looked at the online guides. I mean, wtf, camp
out an area so a certain game clock can tick down for a 1 in a 100 chance mob
to spawn, and then have to kill it a dozen times? No thanks, I'll just play
through it normally and see if I enjoy it enough to want to do anything more
than main storyline and some of the more sensible side quests. I doubt I'll
play any deeper than that. Not exactly enjoying the combat, the gambit system
is a pain in the butt for the most part. I want the old "wait till I make a
selection" system back.
And oh yeah, I'm thinking that retirement loc-reaver reinc is about to happen
soon. Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "I Don't Like the Drugs (But the
Drugs Like Me)" Marilyn Manson.
And now for something completely different... since retiring I've been doing
some reminiscing. I thought, hey, why not go through my reincs and guilds and
list what I've accomplished, etc. for each. So here goes...
alchemists: got all potions before the guild got more combos and new
materials, so I'm short a few now.
barbarian: never done, intrigued by the rep system though, could see myself in
a reinc just to do barb elder.
bard: got all spells kbh'd except for the most recent player luck fucking
spell melody of misadventurer. never had the heart to do a full bard reinc
just to get that spell kbh'd. also, got a couple top end instruments made as
beastmaster: after dinking with mounts in knights, no plans on ever reincing
into that guild. mounts = the suck for a casual player.
bmage: not open yet.
cavalier: never done it, should have for the current knight reinc. cavaliers
need knights and vice-versa.
channellers: done this when it was still in civ background. had all of the
guild quests, but I'm sure those are reset by now, same with my rep earned.
not a bad little guild, good as a support but not as a primary. highly
considered doing a psi-channeller reinc. until the BatMud: The Fuck-over.
(and yes, you'll see me say that a few more times)
civ_fighters: never done, pondered this with a full bard/merchie reinc combo,
decided to go with knights instead. since learned this combo would have
rocked harder than doing knights guild.
civmage: just a short time reinc for a few levels, not much to say about this
guild other than this was before the blast masteries were added to the guild.
at the time I was in, I was the only one in the guild.
conjurer: done this guild before the rep system. when I was in between jobs
after getting laid off, I did a mage-conju reinc for Ewige. my goodness did I
have fun then.
crimson: did a fighter as my very first guild joining the game. well, this is
the closest to it since 2 conversions. no plans on going back unless I had
done that barbie reinc.
druids: never done it. back in the day when I thought about it, I didn't want
to deal with player leads and dealing with griefing assholes in charge of the
guild. still no interest unless someone funded me to do a tarm-druid reinc.
knight: currently reinced in, completely underpowered without cavaliers guild.
got all rep except for the capture the mob final rep. then I ran out of
motivation to complete and then BatMud: The Fuck-over (see, here it is again!)
would still have knowledge rep if I ever reinc out.
lord_chaos: my first guild after conversion 95-96. I joined it because Ikar
and I were good friends. still my favorite in my heart, even in spite of the
fucked up rep overhaul several years ago which basically made my blade rep of
several years get tuned to nada. still got a top 10 blade yet though, over
200k souls in it. may yet reinc into it one last time for kick-off into
full-on oblivion retirement.
mage: done this reinc once before the rep system came into being. I did 'ok'
merchant: shit, if you love solo-able, non-timed, thinking quests/rep system,
look no further. I love the hell out of this guild too thanks to the efforts
of Melemkor. got tier 2 belt and all but lvl 6 ship and brig quests (since I
never could get ahold of the shipbuilding armors). second favorite only to
monk: done this pre-conv. 95-96 back when a dragonified monk with martial arts
at 100 would destroy stuff. haven't done new one, in fact, never done a
single good_relig reinc since conversion 96. never appealled to me for some
navigator: once did 5 lvl reinc back before the explore % cap.
nun: would have love to have done this guild when I was unemployed and could
waste 12 hours a day questing. now, this guild is out of the question. still
interests me to this day though. I'm a sucker for questing rep systems.
priests: never done a full on priest reinc. always partial to support loc.
guess I never wanted to do habos.
psionicist: did this guild once before, had some komd. wouldn't mind doing
that channeller with this guild reinc for exp. well, before BatMud: The
ranger: never done it, don't plan on it, since the rep quests are pretty
brain-dead, grind the repeat macro style. the exact opposite of what I look
for in questing systems
reaver: guild intrigues me, the very next reinc was going to be a reaver/loc
reinc., then, yes, you guess it, BatMud:The Fuck-over occurred. much sadness.
runecarvers/runemages: never tried it, no interest
sabres: never done a full reinc, always done 1 level while in civ reincs to
monger sabre points for easy events. love-love the rep system by doing
events. pretty much broken now due to BatMud: The Fuck-Over at the moment.
samurai: heh, I knew the original wizard (Mastermind) personally that was
going to do this guild. that was, uhm, 14-15 years ago? instead, we get this
new continent system. yeah, good choice there arches.
serv_oxtoth (assume new necros): never did the old necros, but good friend
did. wish I had before the conversion hit. pretty nifty.
spiders: never done it, thought lightly about a reinc or 2, never panned out.
tarmalen: did healer levels in the pre-96 conversion, back when we had healer
crystals. I loved logging on just to heal for some easy money. I miss those
templar: never done it, rep system was never enough to entice me to join up.
tiger: always done this as a full guild to pair up with loc. had some nice
rep, I'm sure is long gone now. too bad claw got nerfed along with dim mak.
wanderers: *laugh* what a fucking joke. someday, someone will wake up who
gives a damn about casual players and the vast time sink of boredom that
travel is at the moment.
other misc guilds: tree navs, nope! wish I had though, e-z money. imm:
pondered it, now I have no reason to contribute to a game that I don't enjoy
playing. infernal knight: ooh, it rocked, but I didn't join it. should have
in retrospect. shaman: didn't last long, was pretty bs though from what I
Whew! And I'm about out of space, so signing off, and thanks for reading this
far, you brave soul you! Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "Upside Down"
Shit, forgot thieves. Never done them (I wasn't cool enough to get invited).
Had a good friend with them. Nifty guild once true steal got nerfed a bit.
Then triple backstab got the tunepole, and the guild imploded. Do remember
getting my sbs stolen off of me by Radagast. I think shortly thereafter
slotted armors stopped being so easy to be "removed by a thief by walking
through the room".
Well, once again, I'm a few weeks late on the blog entry. Appears my blogging
muse has decided to go into hibernation. Just a quick recap on wwhat I've
been up to the past few weeks. Work has been busy, but I'm afraid I'm about
to run out of it and may have to go looking for work in another group soon.
Previous weekends I spent hauling in more blocked wood from the huge pile I
had sawed up late last year. I managed to get around half of the pile hauled
in before the snows and cold finally arrived here in Iowa a week ago. This
past weekend, my parents and I went with my brother and his girlfriend to
attend the dirt track racing awards banquet for the tracks my brother races
at. They present plaques to everyone that placed in top 10 for season points
at each track as well as a group photo. The top point getter gets a coat with
the year and name embroided on it. Unfortunately, the closest my brother came
was 2nd place at one of the tracks. Also, you get a meal served, which wasn't
too bad. Although, for 22 bucks a ticket, it could have been a lot more.
Still frustrated with Bat's current travel "innovations". Still not playing.
Ah well, I'm enjoying Final Fantasy 12 immensely. So far, spent a better part
of a day just wandering around exploring the game. Barely made any advance on
the main story line, which is fine by me. Although, I suppose the next few
evenings I'll get around to advancing the plot so more areas can open up to
Oh yeah, 6 in. more of snow. Shovelling, hoo-rah. At least it only takes me
around 15 min. to clean out around my house. Tonight's blog entry brought to
you by "Girls School" Britny Fox.
Well, a week late on my annual blog post for my New Year's resolutions. The
nice thing about my blog, I can go back in time and see what I really did want
to do last year. Well, let's see how I did? First goal, bench reps of 235,
not even close. Ended up cutting way back on my lifting and bringing in a
couple nights of cardio routines. Which brings me to goal 2, get to 190, and
considering I'm down to 170 right now, I think is a rousing success. Next
goal, be able to jog 3 miles. I can sort of do that on the right night (30
min at 6 mph), but some nights my legs don't want to do that. So, a partial
win there. Next up, 2x a week abs class. Yeah, I'm pretty regular about
hitting the class 2x a week, although some nights I run late due to work and
miss a class. Calling that a success as well. Next one, get a date. Does
some kind-of dates count? As for the next one about girlfriend, yeah, well,
let's move on. Make it to D.C., uh, next? Build the kingdom? I hope I did a
little bit there. And for the last one, more blogging. I was pretty good for
about half the year, then kindof tailed off to the end. I guess when you
don't have much to say and no one to read what you say, what's the point?
So now, let's get on with this year's resolutions. Get back to where I was
with strength before massive diet/cardio routines withered me down. Not that
I'm complaining about the weight loss, far from it really. I just want to get
back to where I was. As for weight loss, I want to lose a few more inches
around the waist while putting on some muscle mass. Basically, the weight
number is fine, just make my BMI number a bit better. Barring that, losing 10
more pounds wouldn't hurt either. Still want to get to D.C. some day. Also,
the date/girlfriend goal is back once again. Guess I don't have any new
goals in mind these days. Just need to finish up the several that I have
Just looking back on the year, I got to enjoy one last year of farming with
Dad before his retirement in '07. I bought a house, which I had not even
contemplated doing this time last year. I managed to lose 35 pounds of me
and pretty much keep them off. Put many, many hours into work, which I
suppose isn't something to be greatly honored by, but in some way I am. I'm
just a workhorse, born and bred. Oooh, just thought of a new resolution,
force myself to be more social/extroverted in spite of myself. I am finding
myself more and more withdrawn from the world, and I had better halt the
As for my X-mas break, it went fairly well. I managed to do most of my
shopping and an impromptu eye check-up in a couple hours at Wal-mart on a
Thur. afternoon. On Friday, I did some shopping with a couple friends. And
since I had everything I wanted to purchase for X-mas, all I ended up buying
was 50 deer slugs for next year's deer hunting season. This made one of my
buds jealous that all I did was buy something for myself and he had to spend
tons of money on others. Sat. I was home on the farm and I started splitting
the firewood for next winter already. X-mas, the folks and I went to mass a
Basillica in Dyersville, and then over to my brother's place for the
get-together. I ended up with a nice new grill from my folks for my new
place, and several house-type gifts as well. The rest of the week turned
quite warm and pleasant, and by Friday, I finished up the last of the wood
splitting for next year's supply for the folks. New Year's weekend turned
wet, and I ended up staying away from any New Year's eve festivities, chosing
to stay on the farm. Since I didn't have to come back to work till Wed. of
this week, I didn't come back to town till Tues. I had Dad bring back my new
bookcase that I had him build for me. Oh my goodness, it is so cool to have
my own bookcase along one wall in the spare bedroom. I can finally unpack
those boxes of books I have been storing for all of these years. The house is
finally starting to feel like a home! Tues. evening I went out and finally
got a new PS2 bought. Amazingly, those PS2's were still nearly sold out in my
area! Guess I'm not the only one not ready to drop 500+ for a PS3 yet. I'm
finally back to playing X-men Legends 1, only about a dozen other games in my
collection that have to be played. Whee! Oh crud, I am so not going to make
this "be social" resolution am I?!? Disgaea 1 (make those high levels) and
start Disgaea 2, and Final Fantasy 12, oh drooool. Yeah, I'm so never going
to get a date at this rate.
And before I forget, happy birthday Boot on the 6th!
Ugh, next week the new year's resolutioners will be crowding the gym at night.
On the plus side, I enjoy my walk to and from work in the mornings, then
again, the weather is still pretty nice for this time of the year. So far, no
snow on the ground yet. If this is global warming, hooray! Keep it coming,
screw you, you hippies! Ah well, work calls. Tonight's blog entry brought to
you by "Take It Off" The Donnas
Totally agree with Blackstar's travel and reinc posts. Fix the travel
barriers to having fun and make reincing cheaper, and I'll be back in action.
It is all coming together. I think I can finally walk away from Bat now with
little regret. I guess the last round of changes just kindof killed my
enthusiasm in all the right ways. Without a map that I can load properly, I
can't find my way around. No new content to make me excited to relearn the
game, just a good time to stop. After X-mas, I'll have a new PS-2, and I can
go and devote my free time to that enjoyment versus the frustration I'm having
here. I gave it a go a couple times now, and I just can't seem to find
anything that is fun for me these days. No fingers of blame, it is just the
world has moved on, and I think I'll just stay behind this time. You won't
miss me will you my dear Bat. No, few will even know I was here, and even
fewer will care. Oh, I'll still stop by from time to time, but those are the
death throes of a player fading away. I can see your names, Ambrosia, Tritor,
Shiva, Goofy, Digga, Ikar, countless more, I'll soon be joining you. Thanks
for the memories, and hopefully I made a positive impact for some of you on
here over the years.
Well, what can I say about the new Bat map changes that hasn't already been
said? Martow's post in general news group sums it up much better than I could
have said it. Good idea, just that too much of the game is now bent towards
moving around rather than hack-slash due to the implementation given.
Travelling = boring, and even more so on a limited hack-slash time budget that
I have to live with. The casual gamer suffers once again! I"m sure the 24-7
gamers will adjust and adapt with time, a few of the explore types are getting
daily woodies with the changes, the noobs and the casuals, bent over the table
top. I'm concerned with Gore's reactions though, but then again, I don't see
but a fraction of the "dislike" spam that I'm sure that he sees. I recognize
he has this grand vision, however the reality of here and now is that we don't
have this additional content now to make the changes seem "positive" and so we
players are typically short-sighted and can only see how it affects us today.
As of now, movement is obnoxious, prohibitive, and boring. Correct that, and
I can live with the changes.
Anyways, RL is crazy at the moment. The end of the year projects must be
wrapped up, so I'm pushing hard this week and next. After next Thur., our
company shuts down and we get 8 days paid off to enjoy the winter weather. I
still haven't gotten much accomplished on the X-mas shopping front. I have
ideas for most opeople, which is 75% of the effort, now I have to actually go
out and purchase. I have 3 shopping trips planned for the upcoming week, so I
should be set soonish. I just need a gift idea for my Dad, for whom I
typically have a tough time finding something he a) would like and b) hasn't
already bought for himself.
Sadly, it looks I'll have to break my rule about buying at Wal-mart. It would
appear that 2 of my gifts I can only buy from there. I really detest
Wal-mart's geo-political policies, but they carry a selection that I can't
find anywhere else in my town. Bah. I hate X-mas shopping.
Looking forward to yet another lovely weather weekend here in Iowa. Talking
highs in the upper 40's. Last weekend was pretty nice as well. Dad and I are
getting really close to having my acres and acres of oak tops blocked up into
firewood. This weekend should do it barring the chainsaw giving out on me or
some other bad luck thing happening. After this, I can focus on splitting
next year's firewood, which I prefer doing during the winter time. Frozen
wood splits so nicely, fewer splinters, wood pops apart and doesn't string
out. Only downsides are needing the maul to bust the wood apart from the
ground and each other and various bodyparts getting cold.
Alright, guess I had better get back to work. Tonight's blog entry brought to
you by "Run to You" Bryan Adams
Just spend the weekend out on the farm doing the annual deer hunt, and what an
adventurous weekend I had. Saturday morning, my brother and I were going to
join in on a hunting party to help hunt the southern half of the timber.
Afterwards, he and I would hunt the northern half by ourselves, since the
owner's of the property were not going to allow others to hunt that property.
Well, the Saturday morning hunting drive flopped, big time. Too many new guys
who didn't know where to go or what to do ended up not blocking or pushing
were they should have. No deer harvested as most of them got out in the
gaping holes in the firing lines. I saw a nice 6 pt buck along with a doe
that hooked back in after the pushers went through. I never got a shot
though. My brother was steamed with the idiocy of the drive. So, he and I
took off to the other half of the timber.
On the first drive, I did the pushing, and my brother blocked. He passed up a
couple of doe because he thought a buck would be coming (and never did). So,
next drive, he would push, and I would block. Well, as I was going to my
blocking spot, I kicked up 4 doe, a couple of shots, no hits. Then, several
minutes later, as I was getting to my spot, there were a half dozen deer
milling about my blocking spot. Several more shots later (1 hit for certain
on a doe, and another on a buck), no confirmed kills. My brother drove
through several more, but nothing I could get a bead on as they were flying
along through the timber. Well, my brother wanted to drive again on another
line, so I stayed in the same area I blocked in. So, I sat down, and figured
it would take 20 min. for my brother to get to his starting spot, I turned off
my battery powered shotgun scope to conserve. Of course, 2 minutes later, my
wounded buck comes back around behind me, and I had to blind-sight shot at
him. I ended up hitting him again, and ran through the timber after him, but
lost him in heavy brush. No snow on the ground this year, so tracking was
nearly impossible. 8( By 11 am, my brother and I were tired out, so we
hopped into his old brown truck and went driving around the outskirts of the
timber to see what deer were hanging out in the CRP acres. We ended up at the
back 40 acres, and come upon 3 doe and a buck holding up in a small shallow
spot along the fence line. We stopped to get out our guns, but the deer broke
out of there and headed to the timber. My brother yelled, hang on, we're
going after them! And with that, he revved up the truck for a cross-country
ride of 40-50 mph. to chase down the deer. One doe split off from the group,
and my brother tore after it. We never got to catch up completely, but we
sure made that doe run hard. It managed to get to the fence line, and it
jumped off across the ditch to hit the road hard. It got back up, and barely
could get across the next ditch. But what a ride! My brother
was laughing all the way home.
On Sunday morn, my brother and I along with 2 other guys from our old hunting
group went out on a bitterly cold morning. It was single digit temps with -10
F wind chills. One guy and I blocked, while my brother and the other guy
pushed. Well, I saw one yearling doe, and that was it. The next 2 drives, I
pushed along with my brother, and all anyone saw was the same yearling doe.
The deer had apparently stayed out in the open overnight and did not go back
into the timber. So, the 2 guys took off to go to another area. My brother
and I came up with a plan, I would block down by the old dump, while he drove
around the CRP acres around it with the truck to move along any deer that were
still holding out. Sure enough, he managed to kick out a nice doe that came
to me. I was half-way up the hillside, and it hooked towards me, since it was
running with the wind, it didn't smell me. By the time it saw me, it was too
late, I had a good bead on it, and managed a spine shot to drop it. Of
course, the sucker had to tumble down to the bottom of the ravine before I
could get a killing shot on her. Dad and my brother stopped down, and after
gutting it, we drug it out of the bottom for our lone kill for the year.
Which is alright, we only wanted one deer for the meat this year due to
processing costs. By 11, Dad and I were off to deliver the deer to the
Now, I forgot to mention 2 other truck incidents involving deer. The first,
was my brother this morning chased another deer across our corn field, as my
parents and I watched on. Mom wanted to know what it was like, and after
watching my brother's rodeo drive, she now knows. The second incident was my
screw-up last evening. I was driving out to check on my brother, and a nice
10 point buck came through the CRP acres. Well, I wanted to follow behind to
see he would bed down at and then get my brother. Of course, watching the
deer instead of where I was going, I hit a massive ravine with my truck.
Fortunately, I was going slow enough that I didn't set off the air bag.
Unfortunately, I managed to bust my turn signal lever, evidently my hand
slipped off and hit it on the sudden stop. Of course, I didn't realize that
till this evening as I was driving home. 8( So, looks like deer hunting for
me this year is going to get a bit more expensive as I have to get this fixed.
*sigh* Oh well, live and learn. So that's my deer hunting adventures for
So far, my walks to and from work have been interesting. One evening, it was
a walk in a warm November rain. Another was a frosty walk in the dark. So
far, I seem to meet a few dog walkers, and that is about all. I can't wait
for warmer weather again however. I still get to look forward to a walk in
the falling snow sometime soon. Nothing so quiet as a light snow fall. The
closest thing so far today was the falling of the frost from the trees with
that cold NW wind blowing around the woods. It was so nice with the tiny snow
crystals dropping about like snow.
Well, I forgot to mention that I was at 170 last week as I predicted. I'm
hoping to have dropped a pound from all of the running in the woods this
weekend. However, I ate well a couple of the meals, so odds are, I'm still at
170 come tomorrow night. 8( It is amazing how fat 3-4 extra pounds makes you
feel. Certain jeans now feel tight again. Gah, I hate losing ground like
this. I half-hoped that my metabolism could have carried me for a week of
light exercise, but that doesn't appear to be the case. And I still have
X-mas meals ahead as well. *gulp* Tonight's blog entry brought to you by
Sorry about not getting to you my blog much sooner, but life has been busy for
me. To start with, I closed on my new house on Friday, Nov. 17th. Earlier in
the week, I made a trip to the bank to secure my loan, so my paperwork for
closing was all of 2 papers for my signature. Friday afternoon, I was off and
shopping for cleaning supplies, and a ton of other items I would need for a
new house. It is amazing the little items a person needs that he doesn't own
until he gets a place of his own. Items such as shower curtains and garbage
cans. I even got to purchase and then, with some help from Don, install new
locks on the house doors. Saturday, my old roomie Don and I moved much of my
meager possessions along with the some work around the house. On Sunday, my
parents came down with my new bed and to help with the remainder of the move.
I also put my Dad to work on some maintenance (caulking around the windows)
while my Mom helped unpacked and while Don and I installed a news garage door
So far, I'm getting used to the house. Still several boxes need to be
unpacked even as I write this, a week since I moved in. I'm still getting
used to the new bed. It just feels like I'm in a hotel room, new bed, new
bedroom, new night sounds, etc. However, it feels kindof good to have a place
of my own.
Then this past week was Thanksgiving. I spent Thur-Sun. back on the farm. On
Thurs., Dad and I took out the remaining walnut trees in the front yard before
they killed off the row of replacement pine trees. Fri-Sun., I spent most of
the daylight hours out blocking up the oak that I've been hauling out for the
past couple of years out of the timber. I really made some great progress,
but I'm still a few weekends away from wrapping up. I also have a ton of
walnut tops to block, but that may wait till next year. I have a feeling the
snow will be coming soon, and that will put and end to blocking and then I'll
be splitting wood. Oh yeah, Thanksgiving was good, the family got together
and had a fine meal (thanks Mom!) of turkey roast and too many other side
dishes. I'm afraid to see how much weight I've gained over this past week.
I'm guess I"ll be at 170 come weigh-in tomorrow evening.
Man, I'm glad to be done with the house buying process. I am glad I got a
realtor to help guide me through all of the process. Now that it is over, I
now know that the process isn't so bad after all. Of course, it helps to have
a good bank and a chunk of starting cash to make the loan side of things go
easy. And with that, I'll go back to watching some Bleach anime and then head
home to do some more work around the house. Tonight's blog entry brought to
you by "Inject the Venom" AC-DC.
Coming into the home stretch now for buying my new place. Wednesday I should
be off to the bank in the afternoon to hammer out the loan. Thursday over
lunch I will be doing the final walk-through of the place. Friday I will be
doing the closing paperwork. Friday afternoon, begin moving small boxes and
clean place. Saturday, move furniture and bigger stuff. Sunday, move
remainder of stuff, parents and possibly my brother are coming down to bring
in my new bed and help out. Oh yeah, sometime in there I need to change over
my phone and utilities and mail. By this time a week from today, I should be
officially done with all of this business. After that, I start plotting
whether I'm ready for a new PC and broadband or a new tv and PS2.
I spent the weekend back on the farm. For once, I did not come into work once
for the entire weekend. Blocked some more firewood on Saturday. Sunday,
helped Dad move some stuff in the local museum, then celebrated my 2 nephews
and my brother's birthday Sun afternoon. A pretty sedate weekend if I do say
Finally got assault ship quest completed. Thank goodness acid rain potions
deal out the damn, or I'd have to reinc into a full bard for con fioco to do
the 1500 damage. Found out the hard way that physical damage, even from bard
spells, don't count towards the damage cap. 8( So while I wait for the eq set
to come my way, I'm busy working on adding on all of the different quarters
possible for my lvl 5 ship.
Otherwise, another long work week last week. At least all of the major
programs got wrapped up so I can focus on the next 3 coming along. Tonight's
blog entry brought to you by "Albatross" Corrosion of Conformity
Special thanks goes out to Malacoda for her wonderful tip on the assault ship
quest. I now know how to create the target dummy. Tried my first attempt
today, and found out that physical dam. doesn't count. PUUH! I need to get
more creative now, and have to monger a couple more star rubies for my next
attempt. Need to get some more ddirect dam toys as well and some alch
potions. So close now, I can taste it, this will wrap up the questing till I
can buy those armors off of Daria to do lvl 6 shipquests. Then I can work on
maxxing out my ship on modules. Whee...the end is in sight for ship
So instead of working today, I end up goofing around on Bat all day long and
puttering with the reinc simulator. I'm seriously considering going back to
evil_religious once again. This time, I think I'll try out reavers since I've
never done that before. I could use a bunch of pointers from somebody,
sometime about the reavers. If that person was a loc/reaver, that would be
Kindof feel guilty about not working today, but I'm feeling a bit burned out
from weeks of long days and short weekends. I'm thinking tomorrow I can get
back into the groove and knock out this latest "emergency" before Monday
Getting a little excited about moving into new place. Pondering buying a
computer and cable modem service so I can mud at night again. However, that
probably won't happen before the new year. I still need to decide if it is
worth it to me to pay that much just to mud. Like I said, we'll see what the
new year brings.
Well, here's hoping I get lucky and I get a chance to meet her at church
tomorrow morn. Who is this mystery woman? Well, as I get her name, you and I
will both know! Tonight's blog brought to you by "You Keep Me Hanging On" Kim
House news: so far so good. House inspection was pretty clean. Only issue
was that the furnace needed a good cleaning and some minor repair on the
tinwork for it. Radon results were good. Pest results are also clean. I've
got some maintenance items to work on once I own the house. I'll need to put
some more insulation in the attic. I will also need to have the roof
reshingled in a year or 2 as well. Otherwise, that should be it for the major
stuff. Now I get to wait to see that the contract items are met by the seller
and the renters leave, and the title clears before I close on the 17th of Nov.
This past weekend I was back to attend my cousin's wedding. My parents were
invited to be hosts, and my brother as an usher. So, during mass, my
brother's girlfriend sat with my parents and I. That of course, lead to some
confusion as my extended family assumed she was my girlfriend since she was
seen sitting with me during the wedding and then afterward at the reception
with my brother. My parents and I had to straighten that out a couple of
times. I even had an aunt and uncle inquire where my girlfriend was at then,
and then recommend for me to go and find one. Of course, thy didn't offer any
help. Apparently getting a girlfriend is as easy as breathing air.
Otherwise, the only funny story out of the night was when I was helping my
parents clean up. There were candles on the tables that needed to be removed,
so I was blowing them out. Well, one was set into a deep bowl, and I blew too
hard and ended up with a face full of wax and the front of my nice shirt
covered as well. 8( After inquiring if I was alright, my Mom had a good
laugh. So the rest of the night I was wearing my Dad's suit coat.
Forgot to mention that I made paltry! bmight last week for bmight. Now I just
need to finish these last ship quests and then I can plan for next reinc.
Weighed in last night at 167. I'm pretty happy with that number since I ate
too well at the wedding reception and the next day on the farm. I'm hoping to
get to 165 before Thanksgiving when I'll end up adding 3 pounds back on.
Guess that's all I got tonight. Tonight's blog brought to you by "Space Lord"
I meant to say in my last blog entry, weighed in at 168, not 178...and it
doesn't appear to be a fluke. Weigh in last night at 167. Uhm, whee!
Apparently I'm off the plateau again and back to some dropping. I'll blame it
on the stress from work at the moment. I've got house insurance lined up for
the new place. 375 bucks for a year, guess that isn't so bad, and I'll save
75 bucks a year on my car insurance now for combined policies under the same
company. I'm hoping I can rest tonight, been waking up two hours too early,
and can't get back to sleep. Then by the afternoon, I'm dragging. Ugh.
Shesh, such incoherent babbling tonight in the blog. Guess I should just go
to the gym and try to unwind a bit on the treadmill. Tonight's blog entry
brought to you by "Shoot to Thrill" AC-DC.
Offer accepted on house, looks like I'll be a home owner in a few weeks
barring anything turning up in the house inspection. I didn't get very much
done on the price, but I did get two things fixed instead. So, whee! I'm
more nervous about getting all of the paperwork and stuff done, and less
excited about the house purchase part yet. Once I move in, then I'll be able
to relax a bit and enjoy my purchase a bit more.
A couple more long weeks of work, and then my work load should lighten up a
bit again. I'm looking forward to not working weekends again (just in time to
clean up and move into a new house!). On the gym front, weighed in at an
incredible 178 last night. I'll see if that is a fluke when I weigh in again.
I've had 3 pound shifts from one night to the next, it is kind of weird.
Guess that's all that I want to write about right now. I want to cover my
lunch conversation, but I'm not sure what to say. I'm fairly certain now that
we are just friends, which is fine by me. However, I've noticed a trend with
another that has recently changed since that conversation has been slightly
more, encouraging? I could be looking for patterns where there are none to be
had, like seeing figures in clouds. I'm just worried this is 'false-hope'
again. I'm so confused. *sigh* Tonight's blog entry is brought to you by "I
Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me) Marilyn Manson.
Lots of stuff churning in my life at the moment. I put an offer down on a
house today. I'm sure it will come back rejected tomorrow since I aimed a
little low and wanted several things done. However, I feel fairly confident
that we'll come to terms soon. Then, it comes down to the house inspections.
Keep watching the blog here for my official announcement that I'll be a house
owner unless something disasterous happens along the way. Basically, I'm
looking to buy a small brick house built in the mid-50's that's about 7 blocks
from where I work. It has all of the amenities that I'm looking for. I have
3 things I want to fixed/changed, odds are, I'll only get 1 accomplished,
maybe two with the right negotiations.
In Bat news, I'm up to the final + for poor! bmight right now. However with
work and house buying tying up my time, I won't get to paltry for a little
while yet. Still no progress on shipbuilding. I need help on assault quest.
I'll pay big $$$!!!!
So far, it appears I'm weighing in between 170 and 171 this week. I'm doing
much better the past two weeks with sticking to the diet. I'm hoping to slide
down to 169 soon. Starting to get the confidence and determination back to
force myself to lose those next critical 10 pounds.
I want to thank the upswing in the stork market in making my 401k plan look
good right now. I figure this is an election strategy by the Republicans to
gain a few votes, just like the recent dip in gas prices. Oh well, time to
take advantage of the interest rates and buy this house before it all goes to
hell in a handbasket. Tonight's blog brought to you by "Connection" by
Had a good weekend out on the farm. Got almost all of the corn harvest
finished by Sunday. Just got a call from Dad who says that he finished up
yesterday. So, we are officially done with the final corn harvest for my
father. In some ways, I'm going to miss the annual planting and harvesting
rites of the seasons. But, I know this is really what Dad wants to do, so
I'll support him. We had really good crops this year too, so a nice way to
sent off. On the downside though, we had several equipment issues from the
water pump going out on the combine, the radiator plugging on the 4440 John
Deere tractor, the clutch spring going bad on the 930, one of the stirrators
busting. Oh, that was fun getting the stirrator rod out of a full bin of corn
on Sunday. Dad hacked out a small door in the roof of the bin. Then, he and
I turned the rod up by hand since the rod is basically a 30 ft long screw.
Fortunately, the bin repair guys were able to quickly re-install a new rod yet
that evening. Saturday I got to help empty out the other bin. I think I
still have some corn dust in my lungs yet from all of that. 8/
So today I went to look at house. Loved the look of the house and really
liked the location, and then I got a chance to look at the disclosure sheet.
Older home, yup, you guessed it, Orangeburg sewer pipe. Well, I'm not willing
to take on the risk of having that collapse at any time, so I'm passing on the
property. If it wasn't for that, the older wiring (a fuse breaker box), and
an older furnace, I'd be buying that place in a heartbeat. So, looks like I'm
back to no prospects at the moment (much like my dating life). Was going to
look at another place, and it had already sold in 2 days after listing! Who
says this housing market is dead?
Let's see, a few misc. items. Weighed in at 171 last night, so that's good
news. I'm happy to hold here if not slowly drop a few more in the coming
weeks. My fanatasy football team is currently 4th out of 10. I'm within
striking distance of 1st yet though. I just need Peyton Manning to get hit by
a loaded cement truck, twice. Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "It's a
Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock and Roll)" AC-DC.
Just a quickie this evening before I head off for another weekend of helping
with the corn harvest. Weather looking really awesome this weekend (mid70's
and sunny in October, are you freaking kidding me?). Weighed in at 171 last
night, lost 3 pounds on my week off. Pretty pumped about that. Up to 9 +'s
now on the bmight, need a couple monster weeks to get to paltry.
Unfortunately, prolly won't have time at work for weeks to come, got 4
programs to support. Basically, doing 3 full time jobs all at the same time.
If I weren't going home to work, I'd be going to work instead this weekend.
Will most likely have to work the following weekend then. Also on the
downside, my bench lifting is waaaay down, barely putting up a couple of 235
now. 8( Although, 215 is still going up pretty easy. Apparently I've
regressed just enough that 235 is past my comfort point.
House hunting is coming along slowly. Got a realtor doing some research for
me at the moment. I'll look into a place next week if it is open. Wish me
luck! Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "Heal My Wounds" Corrosion of
Back from a week's vacation, and ugh, I wish I could take another week off.
Not exactly enjoying my return to work shall we say. Stuck doing clean-up
from a week away isn't exactlythat much fun.
Let's see, spend the week out on the farm. Beautiful weather for the most
part the entire week I was away. I got to watch the countryside turn its fall
colors all week long to near peak on Sunday. Spent the previous weekend and
the first half of the week working on blocking firewood for next year.
Basically, I'm working through all of the oak tops I've drug out of the timber
in the last few years. There is a possibility that the farm that is giving us
the free firewood may soon change hands. So for now, my new emphasis is to
get all of the wood blocked so Dad can pick up a trailer load or 2 in his
spare time and haul it to our farm. I got better than half done with the oak
(not even started on the walnut yet). I figure I'll need another week or so
to get through the remainder of the oak and about the same for the walnut.
And let me tell you the pure bliss of using a fresh chain in the saw. I just
rip through the wood now.
On Thur. morning, the parents and I came to CR to check on a house I thought
about buying. The lot, garage, and house from the outside looked great, and
then we went inside and it was a dump. Plaster walls and ceilings, orange
linoleum in the kitchen, and faded blue 70's shag carpet in the living room.
What a disappointment! I walked into the house and hated it immediately, and
I'm not one for looks. It was such a disappointment that I even apologized
for my parents for wasting their time immediately as we left. Even the
realtor knew this was a lemon, she didn't even try to sell the place. Kindof
felt sorry for her.
On Friday morning, I took the parents down to the semi-annual antique show.
Dad ended up buying a Sleepy Eye stein, a couple Wavecrest boxes, and a pair
of oil lamps with his "fun" money that he makes throughout the year. As soon
as we returned home, we decided to start on the corn harvest. Weather was
near ideal, and the corn moisture was a little high, but the warm temps would
help make up for that. So, Fri. afternoon through Sun. I helped Dad with the
harvest. Corn yields are up in every field we've gone into so far.
On the downside, the 4440 John Deere I was using to pull in the wagons with
started overheating on me. So, Dad had to have the local dealership come out
to pick it up for repairs. Last I knew, it was either a head gasket out or a
small crack in thehead block. And since everything runs in 3's, the burner on
the bin started acting flaky. Had to have a repairman come out to check it
out. And for the third problem, the clutch on the 930 Case tends to stick
when the transmission gets warm. So, Dad needs to get a new clutch spring to
help with that problem. Yesterday, I had to keep kicking back the clutch with
my foot to get into gear while hauling wagons with that tractor. Fun times.
A million times better than sitting in on a phone call with the customer that
wants an answer ASAP even though they won't get to that question for their
design for a while yet. *sigh*
So, that's my week off in a nutshell. Lots of work, lots of good home cooking
from Mom, even got some stuff around for Dad's upcoming farm sale. Just a
good time all around. Tonight's blog brought to you by "Stillborn" Black
Finally digging out from under this pile of work to spend some quality minutes
with you my little blog. Spent the past weekend back home. Friday evening,
the parents and I went to the Farley race track to watch my brother place 4th
out of 22 entrants for his final race of the year. It wasn't one of his
better run races, but I guess 4th is still better than nothing. After
sleeping in till 8am, I went out to start hauling in some of the firewood I
had blocked up from the ten-year (CRP) of the neighbors. I got 4 trailer
loads, with a couple more still to go. Then, it was off to church and then to
pick up my nieces and nephews for an overnight at the farm. Sunday, Mom and I
took the kids out to the timber to help with apple picking. Unfortunately,
the kids were not very interested in helping, preferring to standing around
and making the youngest child cry.
The apple tree we hit is a tree we've nicknamed the "Candy Apple" tree. It is
a crab apple tree with fruit that is red with white stripes, like a candy.
And the apples have softer flesh, but very sweet. Perfect for eating and
sauces. Since we were picking a little early this year, I grabbed a small
step ladder so I could get up into the branches to shake the apples down to
the ground. This year we got about 5 bushel baskets worth from the one tree.
Now the apple trees up in the yard we are going to let them finish ripening
before picking, so there will be another round of apple picking coming up.
Anyways, by the time I got done picking, the predicted rain was moving in, so
I got a nice Sun. afternoon nap in instead of working.
In the good news front, the sister has now officially moved out. She got an
apartment of her own, so she won't be back around to stay in the short term.
However, that still hasn't stopped me from house shopping. In fact, I've
found a place that I'm interested enough in that I may check in on it over my
vacation next week. Yup, I have a week's worth of vacation I have to use or I
would lose it at the end of the month. So, hooray for me, I'm off to the farm
for some time away from the grind.
Otherwise, work has been a bit busy. Still trying to wrap up a pair of
software releases, and support 3 different customers. I'll be happy to get to
the end of this crisis mode and back to something more manageable.
What's interesting, is that I'm not overly anxious about the house purchase.
I guess I must be ready to get this out of the way. I'll miss the company,
but I really don't want to be around the girlfriend of his all that much. I
half-suspect that as I move out, she'll be moving in. Tune in and see!
As for the weight loss, still mired around 174 at the moment. With all of the
work stress and my dropping off the diet wagon for a couple weeks, I guess I
am not very surprised. I'm hoping that my week off will get me down a couple
pounds with, if the weather cooperates, a lot of outside work time. Welp,
that's about all I've got tonight. Except for this: I saw you in the park
that night and thought how a girl likecould be so alone. And then a few weeks
later, you held the door for me as you were going and I was coming. Please
forgive my shyness for not asking your name and I hope that divine Providence
will bring our paths back together one more time. Maybe the next time, I can
be brave enough to ask for just a name.
Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "Vienna Calling" Falco.
The end of the fiscal year work load is starting to take its toll on me. By
the mid-afternoon, I'm finding it pretty hard to concentrate on the tasks at
hand. It could also be that I have a pile of documentation and dumped
customer support work waiting for me.
Besides work being a drag, the home situation has actually gotten slightly
worse. Now the roomie's sister is now bringing over her new boyfriend. On
top of that, he is now staying overnight as well. So to recap, roomie, me,
roomie's sister, roomie's sister's boyfriend, and roomie's girlfriend all in
one household. Small consolation is that roomie and I know the new boyfriend
from before he started dating the sister. Still, this is getting pretty lame.
Not much I can do about the situation other than avoid going home and keep
house hunting. Slimmer of hope is that the sister is job hunting so she can
get a place of her own.
Otherwise, don't have the energy to complain about anything else. Just
looking forward to the weekend. Hopefully the weather will straighten out so
I can head to the farm and play outside some more. Tonight's blog entry
brought to you by "Peace Sells" Megadeth
Hmm....appears I'm behind the blogging schedule once again. With the recent
upswing in work stress, my desire to blog has been dropping off. I guess I'd
rather not have to think so much about my days and time spent. Let's start
off with a recap, no progress on housing situation, no progress on dating, no
progress on weight loss. Weekend got rained out from working on the firewood
both on Sun. morning and Monday afternoon. However, I did get a good pile
built up in the time I did get put in. Slowly grinding onwards for ship 5
cash and now at 7+'s for bmight. Pondering coming in this weekend to get a
chunk of work knocked out of the way. Just a bit down at the moment.
Thinking about skipping a weekend to come into work, bleah. My week vacation
at the end of September could be in jeopardy as well. Just not a lot to be
cheerful about at the moment. Tonight's blog brought to you by "Blue Monday"
I know, I know, just why haven't I been blogging lately? Well, I blame part
of that on YouTube and getting caught up on the Naruto episodes. I also blame
part of it on my workload picking up with the end of the fiscal year coming.
And some part of it is that I've been a bit distracted of late with my housing
situation. Let me explain.
My roomie, and house owner, has a sister that lives in town. She recently
decided to get a divorce, so she needs a place to stay every other week. So
guess what, she crashes at the house. At about the same time, roomie starts
dating, and the woman is now constantly staying over night as well. So, I go
from one roomie, to three practically overnight. If it were guys, it wouldn't
be such a change, but having women around means life is more tricky. No
longer am I running around in t-shirt and old shorts. Television selections
are now much more difficult to agree upon. The girlfriend doesn't like to
watch news for instance, and both women want to watch reality crap shows. As
an added bonus, neither women are contributing financially, so I get to
partially pay for the experience of having them over using the utilities and
eat the food. All in all, my happiness meter has lost several bars. Now I
stay at the gym later and later so I get home in time to grab some food, watch
some news, then go to bed so I don't have to be around the herd as long. I
can get along with the sister much better than the girlfriend. So far the
girlfriend and I just aren't clicking very well.
So I'm back to house hunting in case this relationship looks like it is going
to be serious. Fortunately the housing market is starting to look like it is
turning into a buyer's market. I'm researching now, and waiting for something
nice to turn up.
Besides the deteriorating home situation, my gym situation has me stalemated
as well. I can't seem to drop any more weight the past few weeks. A friend
recommended that I change up my cardio routines. So, I'm going to start
incorporating rowing machine and straight up jogging on the treadmill as well
as elliptical trainers into my cardio nights. One thing is for sure this
week, my hips and knees are sore from the jogging. I'm just not used to the
pounding on the joints that jogging incurs. Check back in to see if the
variety method works. I still want to lose another 5 pounds at a minimum.
Fortunately for me, this upcoming weekend is a 3 day holiday weekend for us
Americans (Labor Day). I'll be heading out to the farm in spite of the rain
predictions for the entire weekend. For what I'll be doing, a few showers
won't slow me down. In fact, I'd prefer the cooler weather for the firewood
blocking that I'll be doing for the 3 day. Also, this should be the final
racing weekend for my brother for the year. Wish him luck!
As for Bat goals, I'm slowly grinding the cash I need to fund myself the class
5 upgrade for my ship. I'm short about 400k now, and I already have the
materials and item deposited. So, a few more weeks will do it. I STILL need
to get exploring to find the hot coals needed to do the assault ship quest.
At this point, I'll pay good money to know where and what item I need, just so
I can completethis evil, evil set of quests. I'm pessimissic that I'll ever
be able to bribe a party to go and get me the shipbuilding armors so I can do
lvl 6 class ships. Damn you Mel! As for knights guild, tried to grind down
the old man willow, but party had to quit due to prior commitments just as the
mob got to nd so I could try to imprison it. I'll try it again when the
planets line up right. I also want to grind bardic might to paltry yet this
reinc so I can get arches favour on the next reinc. Sadly, I'm seriously
considering a cavalier/knight/bard reinc, again. If I had half-a-brain, I'd
go back to loc/tigger, but even that reinc doesn't hold any interest for me
yet. At least I'm up to lvl 2 'arr' now. So when will I reinc? Who
knows...still have these elusive goals to obtain first. Besides, without a
home PC, why go into anything more than a solo reinc anyways? Tonight's blog
entry brought to you by "Subdivisions" Rush.
Well, I really slipped up last week on the blogging, now didn't I. Work right
now is grinding away. Next month is our fiscal year end, and I have 4
programs that want to wrap up by the end of September. Soooo, I'll be a busy
boy in the coming weeks.
However, the big news in my life is the fact that my roommate has recently
expanded the amount of people in the household. Two weeks ago, he started
dating a gal. Now, she spends every other weeknight over at the house. On
top of that, his sister has decided to separate from her husband, and is now
crashing out at the house as well. Ugh, I'm not very happy with the quick
turn of events. I'm not very comfortable around strangers as it is, and now
having 2 of them sharing the living space. Well, I've decided to start house
shopping to be proactive about the situation.
The situation with the sister, is that she is a moron that wants to run free.
It is almost like having my own sister there in the house. She says the same
things, and is already looking online for single guys and she is just moved
out of the house? Shesh! What is up with women these days? She has 2 kids,
with the oldest only being 8 and she wants to act like she is 17 again.
Apparently the lifetime commitment of marriage is 10 years at most to the
women of my generation.
That is the big excitement in my life at the moment. I'm waiting for the next
shoe to drop and her two kids start staying over as well. Currently they stay
at the house, and the parents rotate each week as to who gets to stay there.
Since it was her weekend to stay at our place, I went home to the farm. Which
is alright, since I spent the weekend getting the rest of this winter's wood
supply stacked away in the shed. Now I've started blocking wood for next
winter's supply. That's pretty much my weekend in a nutshell. Unfortunately,
the rain didn't stay away and my brother's Friday night races got postponed.
With some luck, I can make it this coming Friday night to watch him one last
time before the season ends on Labor Day weekend.
Still weighing in anywhere between 172 and 174 the past week. Looks like my
body is very happy at sticking at this point. I'm pretty satisfied with the
results, although I still would like to lose a bit more around the stomach
line. I was kindof bad this weekend about sticking to the calorie count. I
guess I just wanted to cut loose for once. I finally had ice cream for the
first time in months and a few handfulls of chips. But now, I have to be good
or else I'll start to backslide. 8(
It is kindof funny. I've received several compliments on how much better I
look. And usually the follow up question is "you aren't sick or anything?"
Amazing, I guess most people associate weight loss with being sick. Or at
least, they are trying to cover all of the bases.
Other random thoughts for the evening. I have just now discovered the power
of YouTube! Not only can I get anime subbed episodes, but I can watch old
videos from the 80's and the 90's since MTV ditched the format. Oh drool,
drool, drool. It sure takes me back to the days of feathered hair and
spandex. I want to wish Boot safe travel as she wings her way to Sweden on
Tuesday to attempt a dream of hers. I wish you well in your endeavors G!
Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off"
Another week has come and pretty much gone once again. Went home to the farm
this weekend to celebrate Dad's birthday today (Sunday). On Saturday, I
started the process of getting stuff out of the back of one shed to get ready
for the upcoming farm sale. I got the 5 bottom plow, the broadcast seeder,
and my Camaro out so I could start putting the last half of this upcoming
winter wood supply in their place. Getting the plow out was the most work, as
it hadn't been used in 10+ years, so there was several items in the way that
had to be moved. Said items included, but not limited to (1) old engine
belonging to my brother, (3) broadcast seeders for parts, (4) used tires, (1)
old walking plow, and several bundles of lathe. Needless to say, it took me
almost a half an hour to get that stuff all moved out of the way. Then I had
a rough time getting the Camaro to start since it had been sitting for a few
months since the last time I started it. I decided I'm going to put it on the
sale as well, since I'm not driving it, and well, I just don't trust it for
longer drives. Maybe with some luck, my brother can find a buyer for it
before that time, we'll see. A little extra cash never hurts. 8)
So I basically killed most of the day Sat. with all of the moving along with
church in the evening. So Sunday, I was busy and got 4 trailer loads of wood
put into the shed before lunch. Lunch was pretty good, as Dad typically does
a grill-out for his birthday. Mmm...grilled t-bone steak and chicken. My
bro-in-law and 3 of3 of my nieces and nephew stopped over as well. An early
afternoon of chatting with the family, and then I was on the road by 4:30 to
get ahead of the coming rain. And then I'm here at work. Not sure what that
says about me.
How ironic, I finally get an evening where I can blather away on some thoughts
of mine, and I can't come up with much of anything worth blathering about.
Murphy reigns supreme it would seem. Tonight's blog entry brought to you by
So, another week has come and gone. Still not a lot of progress on the
programs I'm working on. At least the good news is that one of them has had a
schedule slip which is convenient for me. I'll find out on Monday if I'm
going to get a replacement for the one that slipped.
Slowly grinding through the filler episodes of Naruto. Hence, why I'm still
at work this late in the evening.
Going to head home for the weekend to celebrate Dad's birthday and to get to
whatever is left of this year's sweet corn crop. I guess the coon and deer
have pretty ravaged it this year. Ah well, at least my sister has already
frozen everything she has wanted. In fact, she wanted me to go home last
weekend to help out. Fortunately I was too busy/other plans. So instead, she
wants me to babysit her 2 youngest children while she gets her hair permed.
Normally, I wouldn't mind. But gosh darn it, when the only time I hear from
her is when she wants some help and that's it, I get kindof balky at helping
her out. Especially considering how little time she does spend with her
children and when a weekend comes, she wants to run. bleah. What to do, what
to do. I know, it isn't very Christian to think this way, but still I'm
frustrated with her behavior.
Roomie has a bit of drama in his life as well. His sister is looking at
getting separated from her husband, and possibly crashing out at the house now
and again. On top of that, he has a girlfriend that has made a few housecalls
already. I could have 3 roommates here the way things are going. It may be
getting time to get a place of my own. I wanted to wait till next year after
I had paid for the equipment I would buy at Dad's farm sale. Hoom. I may
have to cash in a couple CD's early and take the penalty to pay for a
downpayment on a place. I'm watching the situation closely.
Oddly enough, I'm down another notch on the belt, and yet my weigh in last
night was at 172. I can't believe I'm putting on muscle in exchange for fat
loss to keep hovering at this weight since I'm not lifting overly much. I
just can't quite figure this out, but I'll roll with it. Tonight's blog
brought to you by "Cold Hard Bitch" Jet
Need to catch up from having to leave before blogging last evening. Weekend
was alright, as I stayed in town to run some errands. Went shopping on Sat.
for a birthday present for Dad, but didn't have any luck turning up the item
that Mom and I were planning on. Otherwise, not much of any importance on
Saturday other than a grocery run and a gym run and a church run. Sunday, my
roomie and I went on a bike ride, and I was leg-dead from working out on Sat.
My butt still hurts from that ride. 8( Otherwise, I finally got my bedding
washed and a few other cleaning duties.
I appear to be bouncing around a range of weight here now, seem to be moving
up and down from 171 to 173. I may have to get a little more extreme with the
diet. Otherwise, not much news on the gym front. Tonight's blog entry
brought to you by "Let There Be Rock" by AC-DC.
In spite of a little good news this week, I'm kindof blue today. The good
news is that I'm down 3 pounds from last week. Weighed in at 171 last
evening, so I worried for nothing about plateauing. The other good news is
the oppressive heat in the mid90's we had the past week is now gone. It is a
more seasonal 86 out this evening.
Unfortunately, I've been focusing on the downside. The past few weeks I've
been meeting a gal once per week to watch our mutual friend play in a
recreational soccer league. Last night, she brings along a male friend of
hers along with that I never met before who was also a mutual friend of
theirs. So, I assigned him as a 'threat', and I'm sure that jaded me towards
him. Then after some conversation 3-way, and I get interruped by this guy
several times, I decide to let my introvert ways kick in and sit out of the
conversations. At half time, the gal decides she needs to take off, leaving
both of us guys there for the rest of the game. Nice. So, I'm kindof irked
at her at the moment. Now the "blue" part of my mood is that feeling of
desperation kicking in again.
I was chatting with a coworker the other day, and before she had gotten
married, she could empathize with I was feeling. Basically, the feeling that
I'm never going to meet someone and get married. I can feel it eroding my
self-confidence, not that I had that much to start with. So, as of now, I
don't have any promising prospects on the horizon, and the one I thought I
had, well, appears I was wrong. Which is worse, a bad prospect or no prospect
at all? Too bad the only advice my coworker had is "it happens when you least
expect it". Well, how much less can I get when I believe that it will never
happen. *sigh* Like I said, a bit blue. Oh well, at least I'm not too
emotional about it. I'm getting pretty numb to this sort of heart ache that
it doesn't bother me more than a day or 2 any more. Tonight's blog entry
brought to you by "Love Removal Machine" The Cult.
Not much to say lately it would appear. HOT weekend around here in Iowa. I
volunteered to spend my day over at a friend's house to help her sand down her
kitchen cabinets to prep them for staining. It took us 10 hours to get the
job done plus a run to pick up some boxes for her since I own a truck. My
fingers were sore the next day, and my nails are worn pretty low right now.
They have some neat scratch patterns in them as well, since I had to do most
of the sanding by hand. A power sander just wouldn't work well on the narrow
boards in hard places and angles. Sunday I did my best to keep cool after
hitting church in the morning, and then the gym.
In other news, work is still going slow. My weight loss seems to be stuck at
30 for some reason, in spite of being really good about sticking to the diet
plan and workout. Kindof worried my body is finally adapting to the regime
now and won't give up the fat so easily. We'll see what another week brings.
Still watching Naruto subs on youtube.com, so addictive. Tonight's blog entry
brought to you by "Problem Child" by AC-DC.
I would like to state that I want to punch Henry in the head for introducing
me to Naruto episodes on YouTube. Now my evening is spent watching episodes
10 min. at a crack instead of blogging. Oh well, not much to really talk
about really. Spent the weekend out on the farm doing the usual firewood
thing, a few naps, not much really. Work has beenmostly interruptions while I
work on other interruptions. Kindof bored with it at the moment. A bit
listless for some of the impending projects to get going so I can get them out
of the way.
Snarky comment of the day, why do women wear those dumb looking half legged
pants? Either wear a skirt or wear pants or wear shorts, these capri pants
just look like you couldn't afford a pair of pants that fit or you picked them
out blindly. That's my snarky comment for the day. Tonight's blog brought to
you by "Over the Mountains" Ozzy Osbourne.
Completely ran out of steam at work today. Last hour or so just sat in front
of my monitor, just watching the day tick by. I worry that this is a side
effect of packing in my lunch the last two days. Since I really don't cook
all that much, my packed in lunch is typically a ham sandwich on wheat with
either some carrots or another ham sandwich. Low on calories, but I sure feel
myself get sluggish by 4pm now. May need to get something to go with, as my
body just isn't happy with that calorie count. Oddly enough, if I were to go
and move around, I'm fine. It is when I stop and try to focus that I feel it
Forgot to mention the last few posts that the corn has already tassled out a
week ago. Heck, it was taller than me on the 4th of July. Just a good year
so far for the corn crop. We'll see if we can keep the timely rains with all
of the heat we've been getting. And we are already having the locust sing the
past week or 2. Starting to be very noticeable at night now. Ah, the dog
days of summer are here.
So I've had my parents and others ask how much more weight I'm planning on
losing. I figure around another 15 pounds now. I puttered with the BMI
calculator online, and according to that, 159 is a good number to shoot for.
That would put me down by 45 pounds overall. So, looks like at least another
2 months, maybe 3 till I get to my goal. So far, so good, as I'm 2/3 of the
way there now. Like everyone else, I'm impatient, and would love to lose it
sooner than later. However, I'm realistic, and know that I just need to stick
to what is working for me and just let time take its course. So I guess,
expect several more entries with me talking about my weigh-ins and such.
Boring for the reader I'm sure, but think of it as a way for me to document my
progress. So, bear with me. It seems a bit narcissic, but really, who am I
doing it for if not for myself? Tonight's blog entry brought to you by
"Cherry Bomb" John Cougar Mellencamp
Didn't get time to blog last night. Basically, I followed through on my
weekend plans that I mentioned in my previous blog entry. Went home Sat.,
took a nap, went to the Delaware County fair with the parents to watch the
tractor/truck pull. Weather was hot and humid, mid 90's. Crowd for the pull
was good. However, the tractor pull wasn't so great this year. They really
have reduced the number of weight classes. Throw in an hour delay because the
track was too soft for the lightest weight class to pull in. Add in a several
minute delay between each pull, and you had a short pull that took a long time
to occur. The tractors themselves were quite good, just annoyed with all of
the wait time.
Sunday, the parents and I along with my youngest niece and nephew went to
Farley to attend a polka mass. After church, we went to my brother's house to
watch the town parade. Another hot one for weather! Not much else.
Weighing in tonight, we'll see if I've done any more improvement in spite of a
sluggish weekend. Lifted last night, for the first time in 2 weeks. Not as
sore as I feared I would be. Not much else here on this end. My brain be
empty. Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "Tainted Love" Soft Cell.
Pleasantly surprised last night that I weighed in at 176. Not bad for a week
of vacation and then the subsequent travel. Hoping to get down a couple more
pounds by the end of the month now with a more regular schedule again.
Looking ahead to a weekend at the Delaware County Fair and then off to another
polka mass over in Farley. Apparently this time around we are to be treated
with the best polka band locally according to my great-aunt Elmeda. Not
exactly looking forward to the coming week at work. Too much customer support
work, not enough programming or testing work. I find this customer support
work tedious and boring as it drains my motivation. Alright, time to jet out
for the day and pay 3 bucks for a gallon of gas. I'm sure I'll be looking
back fondly to this price in the near future with all of the ongoing crude oil
price spikes. Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "Chains of Love" Erasure
Sorry for the long lag in blog posts, but RL has overridden my time for access
for the mud. Over the July 4th week, I took the week off for some vacation
time. Basically, I spent each day out in the timber in the morning hours
either picking black raspberries or pulling out more wood for firewood. The
afternoons were either more firewood gathering or long naps. A few evenings I
went to watch my brother race (no first place finishes). On another evening
we went to my brother's place for a steak grill out and I got my hair cut
(finally). I did not go out to any 4th of July celebrations this year, other
than the usual family grill out. I had a great week away though, nearly
perfect sunny weather in the 80's and no stress.
I came back into work on Monday and found out that I had to travel to St.
Louis, Missouri that evening for a 2 day customer support trip. No time to
blog, as I had to pack and be out to the airport by 6pm. Arrived a bit after
7pm, set-up in the Marriott by the airport, hit a BBQ place up the road for
some supper. Food wasn't too bad, and reasonably priced. Tues. meetings
didn't run long, and we even got a chance to go out to the assembly hangar to
look at a partially assembled F-1. Pretty neat to see what it really takes to
put one of those planes together. Wed. meetings came and went, and I was back
into Cedar Rapids by 6pm. Just went home instead of going to work.
Really could use a nap this afternoon. Just can't get into work with tomorrow
already Friday and being out of the loop for 2 weeks basically. I just didn't
sleep very well on the road, so I'm starting to feel the effects of that as
well. Bed was too soft, and I couldn't get the room very dark as the heavy
curtains wouldn't close. For almost 200 bucks a night room, you'd think I
could get a decent night's sleep in one of those. Or at least get more
freebies besides a morning paper (not even a continental breakfast). Oh yeah,
ate down in the The Hills (Italian district) in St. Louis. Expensive,
butfairly good. Not a place I would go to normally, but then again, I'm not
rich nor dating. ,) Overall, trip not exactly worth it for me, but was a good
trip for the program. I guess that is all that matters, eh. Tonight's blog
entry brought to you by "Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath" Black Sabbath
Well, my conscience got the better of me last night. Due to serendipity
showing up, the gal from yesterday's post was at the gym working out. I
tested the conversation waters, and then dropped that I would take her up on
her offer to help walk the dogs. The offer was accepted, and 90 minutes later
I was off to a park with her, her two dogs, and her little brother who
happened to be over at her place at the time as I arrived. Fortunately, her
dogs are well behaved and were much more interested in sniffing around than
running around. So, my conscience is now satisfied. And no, no future
plans were made as I'll be out of town all next week on vacation. Today's
blog entry brought to you by "Seek and Destroy" Metallica
Missed the last couple of days due to long work days. Backing up everyone on
vacation this week is driving me nutty here at work. Been sort of a blue day
for me today. Tired from the work, stressed out about the upcoming customer
support trip down in St. Louis on July 11, 12, and bummed out about something
that happened last night, which I'll get into in a minute. Oh heck, might as
well jump in to what is on my mind. Last night, I was a spectator for a
friend's soccer game, did I mention this was a female friend, did I mention
that she's not married? Anyways, this is one of those gals that I've been on
and off seeing if there is any potential for dating with over the past few
months. So after her game was over, we chat for a few minutes, and then as we
are about to head our separate ways, she offers for me to come over and walk
Now, here's what went through my mind. During the conversation, she mentioned
her plans to go riding with a friend of mine (motorbike) over this coming
weekend. In the past, her and my friend have done the dog walking thing as
well. So I'm in this weird situation, I think she wants me to be one of her
good friendss rather making a push for anything more. I guess I'm just not
used to a female that wants to do date-like stuff without wanting to get into
a relationship. From last week, she was offering to prop bet me that if I
lost, I would cook a meal for her and her girlfriend. So what do I do? I
want to get into a relationship with someone at the moment, and she offers a
platonic version of it. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being around her and
all, but I'm just not sure it is good for me to be around her too much right
But to get back to the story, I turned down her offer, and I feel kindof bad
about it. She looked kindof hurt as I drove off. So, yeah, that's what's I
have been allowing to drag me down today. Although, after bloggin' about it
tonight, I feel like I'm getting it mostly out of my system. I'd feel a whole
lot better if I had some other prospect to chase, then this wouldn't be such
an issue. But right now, that nagging, worrying voice reminds me of how
little success I've had in the relationship department. And being the
introspective type, I tend to internalize and analyze stuff far too much. If
only I could get in her head or have the courage to ask straight up if
she's really interested in me as a friend or other. I guess I enjoy
torturing myself rather than feel the burn of rejection, again.
On the good news side of life, I'm hovering just at or below 177 at the
moment. I've gotten a few more inquires/statements that I am lookin'
thinner/wasting away. At this point now, I just want to hurry up and get rid
of the love handles and paunch around the belly button, I don't care what I
happen to weigh when I get there. Let me clarify, there is no magic weight
number that I'm trying to get down to, like in wrestling, I just want to get
my body to a certain shape/look. I also want this weight loss to end soon so
I can go to a maintenance lifestyle. That way, I get to cheat a bit more and
exercise a bit less. Nights like tonight are hard for me to go to the gym.
The funny thing is though, once I'm there, it isn't so bad. Just that
sometimes I'd rather be home early instead of spending another 90 min. after
work at the gym. Thank goodness the PS2 is still out of commission, or that
would make this decision even harder. And if I had a PC and internet access
at home for some Bat time, yikes!
Man, I really, really want to scratch this Bat itch I have. If I were to
reinc., I could romp with nightlife+ and make a killing. It would be like the
old days with Ewige. Not sure if I would go back to being a blaster, do a
civ tank reinc., or do a good relig. reinc. Ah well, I'll stick out this
merchie reinc until a PC tumbles into my lap for use at home. Ah well, enough
rambling for an evening. Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "Bizarre Love
Triangle" New Order.
Wow, another loooong work day today. Spent over 3 hours on the phone with one
customer. I'm beginning to really not enjoy this job. Stage 1 reached for
Roger to jump to another group. Talk of travel now. Stage 2 is impending at
this rate. Got 2 more customers to try to support now on top of my normal
internal projects to support.
In better news, my weekend was pretty good. Spent the weekend down in Ames
with a couple of friends. Ended up playing some hot seat Might and Magic 5.
Unfortunately, we never did complete the campaign as 2:30 am came too quickly.
After a few hours of restless sleep on an ancient couch, I was alert enough
for a food run. We then went over to do a home brewed campaign world composed
of Final Fantasy and D-n-D version 3.5. I played a character for a guy who
couldn't make it. Had a good time rolling the old dice again. Home and
asleep on the ancient couch by midnight. Up Sunday morning so I can attend
church. Went to the church I attended when I was in college at Iowa State. I
even had a minor epiphany while I sat in those old pews. Something I can
apply now to my life as I looked back to those college years. Here's to a
little divine wisdom. 8)
Otherwise, I found out Sun. night that my brother lost the engine on his race
car due to an oil filter fault. So, he is pretty bummed out right now. This
won't be a cheap fix. He has a backup engine, so he'll be racing come this
weekend. Looking forward to the 4 day weekend I have coming up. Doesn't look
like I'll be getting the week off with the rate that work is piling on.
Although, I have to spend 2 weeks of vacation yet before Oct. 1, so I may just
say 'screw it' and take those days anyway. Depends on my mood come Friday I
guess. Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "Fire Starter" The Prodigy.
So, I'm a bit behind on the blogging, again. Appears my determination to make
this a daily habit is slipping a bit. I blame work and Melemkor! I am kindof
pissed at work at the moment. Senior system engineer dropped the ball, didn't
forward responses to a customer, 4 months later, customer comes back pissed
for not getting a response. System engineer forwards email at 3:50pm to me to
look into issue, needs response back to customer by close of business
tomorrow. Yeah, right. Thanks fuck-o. Guess who is leaving work already.
System engineer you say? Ding-ding-ding! Oh well, I'm leaving on time, screw
Anyways, weekend was good. Didn't do a whole lot on Sat. besides putter with
wood for a couple hours. By the afternoon it was so hot and humid that I just
sat on the deck and chatted with Mom. On Sunday, parents and I went to
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin for the buckskinner's Rendevous. Mom and I
dressed in period looking clothing and we wandered through the displays and
flea market. Met an old work buddy up there as well. So, all in all, a good
Forgot to mentionthat for my birthday, while we were at the races, Dad got the
track announcer to announce birthday wishes for me on the track PA.
Also forgot to mention that I got speed magi quest completed thanks to a lot
of help from Brillo! Then, today I figured out the 3 lift magi focus
locations to finish that shipquest. I'm down to the assault magi quest and
getting shipbuilding armors for class 6 ship work. Not sure which is harder,
hearing that obtaining the armors is a pain. And as for blaming Mel., I've
spend a few late evenings the last two weeks figuring these quests out. After
these next couple of quests, I should be done with shipquests, unless there
are some new ship quest branches that open up once I do a lvl 6 ship, which
Mel. has hinted at. evil bastiche.
P.S. Anyone know of a spot that has 'hot or burning coals' as an obtainable
item? I'd pay good cash for that piece of info or.
On the gym front, appears I am now down below 180 officially. If the scale is
to be believed, I'm at 177. I think it was off last night, as I don't see how
it is possible for me to lose 2 pounds overnight from 179. Tonight on my
re-weigh we'll see where I really am at. It could have been water weight loss
with all of the cardio I had done. Anyways, happy with progress in spite of
eating poorly last weekend. Strength/weight lifting is really falling off.
Will take several weeks of hard lifting to get back to where I was. But for
now, I'm more willing to shed pounds of fat along with some of the muscle.
Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "Dani California" Red Hot Chili Peppers
Wooo...what a week. Juggling 5 programs at once has pretty much kept me busy
all week long. Surprisingly, it felt pretty good to stay this busy for a
week. Sadly, it greatly cut into my Bat and blogging time. Ok, I'll recap my
3 day birthday weekend. I took vacation on Friday and slept in to start my
birthday. Rising late, I drove to Manchester to get my driver's license
renewed. I love small town DMV's, 2 people in line ahead of me. 10 minutes
later, I had my new license in hand. Amazingly enough, my photo actually
turned out alright. Fifteen minutes later, I was on the farm. Twenty minutes
after that, I was out running the rear mount cultivator on our 930 Case. We
managed to get 40 acres done before we had to stop to watch my brother race on
the dirt track in Farley. Unusually cool this year, we had to dress up in
coats and blankets in the 50 degree weather.
My brother's race was early on, so we didn't have to sit in the cold the
entire night. He had a lead in the first half of the race, then a caution
allowed the pack to catch up. After the restart, he made a pair of driving
errors that dropped him back to a fifth place finish. Afterwards, we could
see that he was pretty angry with himself (which carried over the next day or
2). Saturday was another cool and rainy day. I managed to finish splitting
this year's firewood supply in between the rain drops. That evening, I went
to a polka mass with the parents. Now for those reading who don't know what a
polka mass is, a polka mass is a Catholic mass with all of the accompaning
music played to polka tunes. It is always weird to hear the beer barrel polka
played during mass. A music leaflet is provided with the changed religious
lyrics to go with the familiar music. The mass was jam packed with the
elderly, or as my Dad put it, it was like being in a retirement home.
Sunday was another cold day. My sister decided she wanted to dump off her
children so she can go and have fun. So, Dad and I watched my youngest niece
and nephew for most of the day with some help from Mom when she got off from
So, that was my birthday. Throw in a few gifts and an angel food with cherry
frosting birthday cake to complete it. Like I mentioned, this week has been a
blur of work for the most part. Although last evening I went out with the
roommate and another friend to catch a funk band playing for free in the local
park. I am amazed how many kids have a gut bigger than me these days. It is
truly scary! When I was growing up, we never looked like this. These kids
looked like guys do when they are in their 40's and hadn't exercised since
their 20's. Sad.
Oh yeah, some positive news on the weight loss front. I actually lost weight
over my birthday weekend, which is pleasantly surprising. For this first time
this year, I weighed slightly under 180. Hopefully by next week, I'm at 179,
which would put me down an official 25 pounds since I started upping my cardio
and lowering my cookie intake. I'm pretty happy that I haven't stopped losing
weight at my current rate. I figure I should be down to 170 by Labor Day
weekend. I have this suspicion I'll have to go to 165 or even more to get
to the figure I want again though. 8( So, the sacrifice of the food will
continue on longer than I first had planned. I do miss ice cream, cookies,
cake, muffins, pie, pizza, brauts, hamburgers, droool, mmmm.
And as for my earlier cryptic blog entry. Appears there was nothing there
after all. Ah well.
So for this weekend, it is home to the farm for Father's Day. Not much
planned for Saturday, but Sunday we will be heading up to Prarie Du Chien,
Wisconsin for the Rendevous event. So if you are in the area, look for a guy
dressed in bleached white sack cloth, a black wide brimmed Amish-ish hat, and
carrying a .50 cal. black powder rifle on a sling in the morning hours.
Tonight's blog brought to you by "Sadeness (Part 2)" Enigma
Work making me work too long, so no blog entry. Will get caught up tomorrow
(?) so I can log in my birthday weekend and such. Tonight's blog entry
brought to you by "Kickstart My Heart" Motley Crue
Birthday tomorrow on June 9th. I'm telling everyone I'm 12. Sadly, no one is
agreeing with me. 8( Anyways, I'll be heading out tomorrow to get the
world's worst driver's license photo taken. Afterwards, I'll be heading to
the farm to run the cultivator through the corn acres. Hopefully we can get
done before the rain hits this weekend. Otherwise, not much else planned for
my birthday. I'm going to prolly pick up a pound or 2 due to birthday meal
and cake that I'll get this weekend. Ah well, after this weekend, I should be
back to more normal meals on weekends so I can get back to my weight loss
goals. Oddly enough, I've lost enough waist fat to belt to the next notch
comfortably, yet my overall weight hasn't changed in a week. Curious, since
I'm not doing any weight lifting. Apparently my body is shifting my fight
around or something. Anyways, not around at work tomorrow is my present to
myself, so I'll see you in 3 days. Tonight's blog brought to you by "No More
Not much to add this evening. Why is it when someone goes on vacation and you
are the backup, suddenly all of the customers need help and support. *sigh*
Two more weeks of this additional crap. Only other thing I know is that I
need a hair cut pretty bad now. My hair is now long enough that I can curl my
curls around my finger. Which, is not so bad, except I have this bad habit of
twisting my hair when I'm bored and sitting in a meeting. Not exactly a
professional thing for me to be doing.
Sadly, I'm making more cash per day whacking a few cash mobs per day than I
did merchanting. Heh, what a joke the merchant guild has turned into. Still
no progress on ship quests, just been too busy during the day to settle into a
groove to work on those. Oh yeah, now I've found out the new crash recovery
bench quests. Oh no, I feel compelled to complete! Whine, I'm never going to
get a chance to reinc out and drop these merchie levels and get back to a more
useful killing reinc.
Well, at least I can look forward to talking off Friday from work for my
vacation. Unfortunately I have to make a run to the DMV to get my driver's
license renewed. That should be an hour of fun. Oh yeah, Friday is my
birthday as well, just thought I'd throw that one in. No big plans that I'm
aware of. Tonight's blog brought to you by "Twist of Cain" Danzig
Well, I was bad last night and forgot to put in my blog entry. To make up for
it, I am going to start early enough today to make sure I get the entry done.
I ended up having a pretty good weekend. Here in Iowa, the first weekend in
June is a "free fishing weekend". This means that Iowa residents get to fish
without a license for the weekend. Well, for once, my family got the
opportunity to take advantage of the freebie. Growing up, my siblings, my
Mom, and my grandmothers went fishing, a lot. We had several places wewould
rotate through. It isn't an exaggeration to say that we would average 2 or 3
days a week of fishing during the summer time. However, after my grandmother
on my mother's side died, and I went off to college, fishing trips pretty much
stopped as everyone got too busy to take a day away for fishing. This year,
we planned ahead for this weekend.
But before we get to fishing, let me back up and chat about Friday night. My
brother races on Friday night down at the Farley race track. My parents and I
headed out to watch. A lovely, warm early June evening was our companion.
With all of the area graduations, the crowd was pretty light. Luck was with
us, as my brother's car class the B-modifieds would be up early in the feature
races. At 6:30, they ran hot laps, think of them as warm up laps for anyone
who wanted to test their cars, for each of the classes. At 7, the heat laps
were run which would help determine positions for the feature race of each
class. My brother didn't have a strong run in the feature race. Some racers
race for positions, others like my brother keep trying to find the track lines
they want to use later on. So on to the feature, and my brother is placed in
6th position out of 7 cars. The feature race is 10 laps, so there isn't a lot
of time to waste. On the 2nd lap, my brother hit the loose powder on the
upper side of the track and slid, and lost a lot of position and distance to
the pack. However, he caught a break as a small accident brought out the
caution in that lap to bring him back up with the pack. Then he proceeded to
come from last position to the final lap that he finally caught the lead car
and passed him on the last turn. By less than a foot, he took first place!
My Mom and I raced down to the centerfield to get out pics taken with my
brother, his car, and his trophy. I'm hoping one turns out well enough that I
can post. Well, we ended up staying till almost 11 to watch the rest of the
races and chat with brother afterwards.
Which leads to 6 am the next morning as we get up to get ready to go fishing.
My brother, his girlfriend, and her son came up to meet us in Guttenburg at 7
am to go fishing along the Mississippi River. Unfortunately, the river was
way up due to a recent bout of rains and someone had already camped out in our
favorite spot. Instead, we went to another place nearby. Let's see, my Dad
just sat behind us and watched the boats with his binoculars. Mom had the
most luck, hooking several bluegill and a red horse. I managed a small turtle
and a bluegill that I tossed back. My brother caught a couple bluegill that
he tossed back. My brother's girlfriend, Chrissy, didn't catch a thing and
her son Trent just had a lot of fun running around between us all. By 11 am,
we were ready to head out and find some lunch. My parents and I went to a
park down by the lock and dam in Guttenburg as my brother headed home to get
ready for racing on Sun.
We enjoyed our convenience store pizza by the slice as we watched a barge
get lined up for entry through the locks. By noon, everyone was wiped and we
headed home for an afternoon nap and later evening mass. After supper, my
sister brought over her 2 youngest children for a night over at the
On Sunday, we packed up and headed out to go fishing again. This time, my Mom
and I were going to take my sister's kids out along with my brother-in-law.
Dad wussed out as he wanted to get some odd jobs done around the farm. By 10
am, we were fishing along the Turkey River over by the old salebarn in
Elkader. By 10:10 am, the eldest girls were done fishing due to seeing snakes
along the river bank. Fortunately, my brother-in-law Tim got a call from his
parents that the fish were biting on a farm pond and we should head over. By
10:15, we were packed up and heading outside of town. By the time we got to
the pond, the bluegill had mostly stopped biting. I got one, but threw it
back, and Mom got a few bites is all. At least the nieces and nephews were
fishing again, their snake fears forgotten. Eventually, I got bored using a
bobber for the pan fish, and switched to putting my bait on the bottom.
Within 10 min., I got a nice tug and set the hook. For the next 5 minutes, I
had the thrill of fighting a fish that didn't want to be landed. Eventually I
was able to tire down the beast and with Mom's assist, net a 12 pound catfish!
I was pretty pumped! I had not caught anything that big in over 10 years of
fishing. Tim said he didn't even know there was catfish in that pond since no
one had ever caught one before. While I was showing my fish, my eldest niece
Alicia went to my spot and dropped a line. Sure enough, she hooks another
catfish. Unfortunately, her line didn't hold and broke before she could land
it, but I caught a glimpse of the fish, and it was just as big as mine. She
was a little bummed, but was still pretty happy. After that, the biting
stopped, and by 1pm, we were ready to go.
Dad is a big catfish fan, and he was already skinning it before Mom and I
could finish unpacking. So after cleaning fish, and a nap, we had an
excellent supper of fried fresh fish. Now me, I'm a pan fish guy, so I loved
all of the bluegill fillets we had. Sunday evening I rolled back to Cedar
Rapids to mow the yard before the rains would come in this week.
Monday, pretty uneventful, except that my weigh in was around 182.5, as I
hoped. Still, put on a half a pound, so I wasn't too happy with myself. But
I knew I'd be eating poorly and not moving much, so I had to expect some side
effects. Today on 6/6/06, my PC decided to go tits up again. I have to
backup a coworker on vacation, and sure enough, the customer calls for
support. I went to install the software package that was in question, and it
caused my PC to blue screen of death, pop an error, the reboot again. So,
another call, another wipe and re-install of the OS. Bleah. Yeah, I think my
PC is possessed.
So now I get to recover, again (#3 for those counting at home). Maybe
tomorrow will be a better day. I hope. Tonight's blog brought to you by "My
Song" Jerry Cantrell.
Decided to go onto the bat homepage and take a trip back in time to the start
of my blogging since it is far easier to read cronologically versus the blog
view command here in the mud. Wow, reading those early posts put me back into
my old test engineering days. I'm really glad now that I took up this
blogging now. I look back now and see all of the misery and complaining I had
while working in that department and it makes me oh-so-happy now to be gone
from that group. In fact, I chatted for a minute in the halls today with an
guy who stayed in test eng. that I worked with, and he was talking about how
he was working 80 hour weeks now due to short deadlines and lack of personnel.
Wow, I sure don't miss that one bit.
Then I was scanning through other blogs and one person's comment about lurkers
on blogs. In particular, when you know the person in RL and reading their
blog, and not letting the blogger know you are reading their blog. That
person brought up some interesting points about how it freaked them out that
the person knew more than they were letting on. I don't have a good answer as
I'm guilty about doing the same thing. In my defense, I don't want that
person to feel they have to hide stuff because people they know may read their
blog. I just have a feeling that if someone knew me in RL were to trip across
this little ole blog, I'd have a second or third thoughts about some of the
stuff I've posted, and in particular a few certain persons would definitely
make me reconsider and possibly remove a couple of posts. By nature I'm a
private person, so as long as I think I'm anonymous, I'm more likely to be
more open. Not too surprising of a revelation, I know. I'm just comforted
knowing that most people who know me in RL don't know about Bat or could
connect me to this character or even know that I blog at all. Fortunately,
the few that could put all of these connections are people I can trust or have
long sinced moved away from Bat or from me in RL.
Wow, this stock market snide of late is rough on my 401k. Even with my
meager savings so far, it is scary to watch it bounce a thousand bucks in
value a day. I guess this is why they call the stock market as "legalized
gambling". However, I can afford to let it ride for a while, since I'm
playing with the house money now after all of the gains from the last few
years. I just hope I don't have to give it all back now as oil prices,
interest rates, and world events don't push the market way, way down. Sad
commentary that the only way I can afford to retire is to gamble on stocks
since pensions and social security are not viable options. Well, I also have
the farm which, knock on wood, will always be a yearly income source, but I'm
in the minority with this. So with some good years in the stock market, maybe
I can retire at 65.
What's thi? Some interest, some flirting? Intriguing. Much ado about
nothing? Let's just wait and see. Tonight's blog brought to you by "Foxy
Foxy" Rob Zombie
Uh oh, apparently I forgot to blog last night before I ran off to the gym.
Well, no biggie, I'll get caught up here tonight instead. The Memorial Day
weekend is now past for '06. Daily temps soared into the low 90's all 3 days.
Each morning, I was out in the timber hauling out more and more tops for fire
wood. I'm working my way northeast across a ridge line. Once I finish this
spot out, I'll either go back and recheck a few spots that was recently logged
out again for more tops or head back to the center and work north and west. A
few more years and I'll have the north section "cleared" out and then I can
work back to the south. And by a few more years, I mean a few more decades at
my current pace. It doesn't help that there is an oak wilt going through the
timber now, so I'm cutting down dead oak trees as I come to them. More
On Sat. afternoon, I stayed around the farm to do a few clean-up type chores.
On Sunday afternoon, we went to watch my brother race at the Dubuque Co. race
track. He ended up placing 3rd in his field, good enough to make the money.
On Monday afternoon, my brother stopped out for our family bbq. Afterwards,
he loaded up his old truck with firewood and headed home, and then hilarity
ensued. We get a call from him letting us know that he broke down and we need
to bring the cattle trailer to haul the wood home since the truck was dead.
Well, it wasn't dead, it was on 3 wheels. Apparently, the rear right wheel
sheared off near the axle and shot off into the ditch. My brother was
fortunate and was able to steer it off onto a wide gravel shoulder without
tipping over. So, on the hottest day of the year so far, my parents and I are
over throwing wood off the crippled truck and into the trailer. Then, we
hauled it to his place and unloaded and stacked for him. So much for my
afternoon nap. 8( Anyways, we laughed at my brother at his misfortune. I'm
sure by next weekend, he'll have a new 250 dollar pickup to take over where
this one died.
Then today, I had to reboot the desktop PC and like normal, something went
wrong. This time, the video card driver decided to go away and I came up in
600x400 resolution with 4 color display. It took me an hour to finally find
the right driver to update to get my monitor to work right again. *sigh*
Then, I went and re-installed ClearCase again to get that working, of course
another reboot. This time, I'm getting mshta.exe errors now when I try to
open one of my web applications. Bah, fucking Dell computers.
Weighed in last night at a nifty 182 which I'm happy with considering I didn't
eat all that healthy over the weekend. With the shortened week and an
upcoming fishing weekend planned, I'm hoping I weigh at 182 by next Mon.
night. New goal is to get down to 170 before the end of August, which is a
reasonable 1lb/week if my body doesn't decide to stop losing weight. I'm
thinking around 170 I should be getting downa to where I shouldn't need to
lose more than another 5 pounds or so to reclaim my old figure. However, I
won't know for sure until I get there. I may have more losing than I think!
Tonight's blog brought to you by "Her Strut" Bob Seger
Ok, I slacked off from blogging the last few nights. But really, how many
different ways can I state that I did the same thing day after day at work?
It doesn't help that my motivation level is pretty darn low at the moment.
Still, the paychecks get made out to me and I cash 'em. I guess I can't
complain, compared to the pressure cookers some of my friends are in right now
on their respective programs. I should learn to relax and enjoy the slower
Got a 3 day weekend coming up. I plan on being home to the farm for it in
spite of the predicted near 90 degree temps. Shesh, 1.5 weeks of real spring
weather and now we are into the summer. Bah! I'm hoping to get some firewood
done, not much else to do. First crop hay won't be ready for another week or
2, and after that is cultivating. Sometime in there, I'll celebrate another
birthday. *sigh* tick-tock tick-tock
Not much else that I even feel like typing out. Can't you tell my motivation
is gone? Anyways, an evening at the gym, then travel tomorrow. woo.
Tonight's blog entry is brought to you by "Paper Sun" Def Leppard
Things are going very well, in fact, surprisingly well the past couple of
weeks. I was worried I would plateau out. Appears I didn't need to worry, as
I just slid past the 20 pound lost mark when I weighed in last evening. On
the downside, I'm definitely weaker in the strength department. I used to be
able to do 3 sets of 10 of 185 on the incline bench and I was down to 1 full
set and 2 partials. 8( Once I get down to where I am just maintaining weight,
I'm going to have to switch back to 3 nights of lifting a week. As for when
I'm going to stop, well I'm not quite sure yet. I went to get rid of the
bulge around the middle and sides. It is definitely not as large as before.
I'm not gunning for an anorexic look, just want to have a reasonably flat
midsection. So, I figure I'll need to lose at a minimum another 10 pounds,
but my gut tells me I'll eventually lose another 15-20 more to get to my old
early college waist size. Interestingly enough, my loss has been gradual
enough that most people have either not noticed, or not commented that I've
lost weight. Only 2 gals from work noticed, and those are people I normally
don't see day to day. I think that's a good sign that I'm losing weight the
correct way. Mmmmm...I miss my daily muffins still. 8(
Another sloooow day at work. Did some upgrades on my merchie ship, so now I'm
back to mongering more materials for other upgrades. Now have to monger some
+shipbuilding eq for class6 work. What a drag. Tonight's blog brought to you
by "Physical" Olivia Newton John
Ok, getting a jump on the blogging tonight since I was very bad and missed a
couple nights last week. And just what was I doing last week? Weeeelll, I
just happened to be working on a couple more ship quests. In fact, the
cannoneer quarters quest forced me to leech onto a 5 man party to get the
items I needed to complete that quest. Note to Melemkor, I hate that quest
very much, thank you. Fortunaely, it is one of a couple quests that arequire
a party to help the merchant complete. I have one more to do here in the near
future (speed quarters) quest, and the third, I've managed to sneak around
behind parties to get some of the materials needed. Tell you what though, the
quests may be hard, they are rewarding once you figure them out and complete
them. I will be glad to get 'em done though, I'm pretty much bored of this
reinc already. If I had full bards or cavalier guild levels, this reinc would
be neat, but alas, knights alone isn't very good for offense or for soloing
for that matter. Once I get all ship quests completed and upgrades done, I'll
be reincing out and back to loc-tiger or knight-cavalier-bard.
Otherwise, work has been dead slow the past week. Still working with the
coders on a nasty lock-up bug. Also supporting a customer on a radio
integration. Most of that time is spent on the phone for tele-cons. I think
if things don't pick up by end of Sept, I'll be looking for a new group here
at work. I just don't see much work after that time period.
Then, last week my Win XP box here at work decided to corrupt IE and the
internal network messenger. Help desk tried a few things which didn't fix the
issues, so I ended up getting my PC wiped, again. So far, I can't get
ClearCase to reinstall correctly. *sigh* Lord only knows how much other
stuff is going to go wrong here in the next weeks as I have to reinstall all
of my development and support software.
At least I'm getting a lot of stuff done on the weekends. We finally had our
first warm spring weekend of the year. Temps were in the low 70's and sunny.
On Saturday, I helped the roomie cut and put up 1/2 in. plywood in his garage
to wall up the insulation. That took a good chunk of the day. We then
puttered around cleaning up the garage, taking care of other outside house
maintenance. Sunday, I mowed and then raked the back yard. That took over 3
hours. The weather was so nice, I really didn't mind the work. The only
downside was the neighbor's dogs constantly barking at me if I were to rake
anywhere close to the fence between us. By 1:30 roomie and I headed out for a
late lunch at the mall. We cruised the mall checking out the gaming store. I
didn't see anything I had to have so we headed out to cash in our pop bottles
and buy some much needed groceries and supplies. By the time we got home, it
was 4pm and we decided to go on a bike ride before some light showers were to
hit our area. After an hour of riding on trails and back streets, we cruised
home. Upon our arrival, my roomie found out he could get a free chest
freezer, so we borrowed a friend's pickup and headed over to grab that. So by
8pm, we had the truck returned, the freezer in place in the garage, and were
crashed out in the living room. So no, I didn't head out much except for
Sat. evening church, which really isn't that much of a social activity. But
man, I feel like I got a lot accomplished. And oh yeah, my rump is still
hurting from hitting all of those street cracks yesterday. My bike is an
older 10 speed, so it doesn't have those nifty shock asbsorbers. Yes, I'm
getting weak in my old age.
So, that's about all I know at the moment. Hopefully I can find time this
week to get the speed magi party put together and get that quest out of the
way. After that, it leaves lift and assault quarter quests that I know of.
Oh yeah, forgot about mentioning teleporter quest. Evil Shin. and Mel working
together for a quest is almost unfair. And I got lucky with having a conj.
friend and some major_heal potions chested for the defense quest. So yeah,
I'm starting to really knock these quests off. Woo Woo! Tonight's blog entry
brought to you by "Snowblind" Black Sabbath.
Hey blog, been a few days since I got to you. I got too busy at the end of
the day the last few days last week. But partly I was avoiding typing up some
of the thoughts that have been going through my head of late. Ya see, I had a
mini-revelation. I was thinking about why I was stressing about asking out
one of the 3 that I keep mentioning off and on. Well, it occurred to me that
I was reacting out of desperation and fear. I was able to look beyond the
short-term worries and look at the deeper, bigger picture. I am afraid that
I'm not going to find that woman to marry in time to start a family. How odd,
even a man can feel his biological clock tick on him as well. And right now,
I feel it weighing heavily on me of late as I approach my 34th birthday in
June. Part of me just wants to settle with the first gal that says yes, and I
know that's the wrong way to go. I know that one of the 3 would say yes, or
at least I think I'd have a good shot at getting a 'yes'. However, I know it
wouldn't work long term. So I'm torn, do I take the door that's open or do I
look for a door that may not exist for me.
Then, last night I came into work. You see, I had been kindof avoiding
contact with a gal the last few weeks. I had to get my head and heart on
straight, because I was frustrating myself being around her. However, guilt
was building up in me for the avoidance and it wasn't fair to her. So, I
popped over to chat. And we ended up chatting for better than an hour. After
the chat, she invites me over to help her plant a couple of trees, to which I
agreed. Just like, I'm back to being the "friend". Again, I'm such a sucker.
I know what the advice is, either be her boyfriend if that is what you want
or be her friend, but don't be a friend to be her boyfriend. Gah, I'm so
So, once again I've put myself back into the situation I was in around X-mas
time. Having two single female friends that I don't have the guts to find out
if I'm boyfriend worthy of them and with whom I'm not entirely sure I'd have a
future with. And yes, I do overthink these things, another fault. I'm trying
not to make excuses, I know what I need to do. Just not following through at
the moment. Just thought I'd share.
However, I do have some hope on the horizon. I'm slowly gaining back some
self-confidence with the weight loss. I was down to 188 on Thur. Right now I
still have this annoying paunch around the middle that I want to get rid of.
I figure another 10-15 more pounds to really cut that down. So, another two
months at the current rate of loss I believe. We'll see what I look like at
180 before I know for sure how much more I want to lose. Remember that hope I
mentioned. Well, I have an open favor of a blind date set-up that I can call
in when I'm ready. I'm thinking that sometime during the smmer I'll call that
favor in if I can't resolve the situation I'm in currently. So that's my
so-called dating life at the moment.
And oh yeah, last weekend was Mother's Day here in the US. Unfortunately, Mom
had to work the weekend. So on Saturday, I went out mushroom hunting in the
cold rainy weather that has been plaguing our area for the past 4 days. I
found almost 3/4 of a bread sack, mostly the big yellows under one tree in the
pasture. Just hasn't been a great year for mushrooms due to the unusually
cool May we've had. Then Sunday, I sat around and waited for Mom to return
home so I could watch her open her card. I even got a surprise hug. It
startled me as she came from behind as I sat on the coach that I over-reacted
and tried to duck out. Dad just laughed at me. What can I say, I'm just not
used to having someone hugging me. Sad but true, our family isn't the
huggy-touchy types. Well, Mom is, but I'm like Dad and we just don't show
affection that way very often.
Whew! A little drama in my life in the moment, just enough to make me sound
like a song from an emo band. I know, wah, wah, at least I'm not [insert
disability, handicap, life threatening issue, poverty, or other such issue]
and should count my blessings. But what is life if one can't talk about one's
deficiencies in it. If I'm going to become better, I need to identify and
overcome my fears. And if some lovely and wonderful single gal wants to come
into my life and whisk me off my feet, well, I wouldn't stop her. *grin*
Well, I can dream, can't I? Tonight's blog brought to you by "Self-Esteem"
Going to leave early this evening to get gym and then grocery shopping in.
So, I'm skipping out on blogging duties this evening and make it tomorrow.
Not much to say anyways right now. I do have a small development that I want
to hash out, but I want to dedicate some thought and time to lay it out.
Tonight's blog brought to you by "Cherub Rock" Smashing Pumpkins
So, I weighed in last night. Well, actually, I weighed myself twice. First
time, when I first arrived to the gym and changed, I was down a pound from a
week ago. Then, after working out, apparently I sweated off another pound of
water to get to my first new year's goal weight loss point! So, if I'm at or
below the 15 lb loss mark next week Monday, I'll claim this goal has been
obtained. Woot woot! And finally the pounds are coming off the middle
section. For guys, fat will come off every other part of the body first
before it takes from the mid-section heavily. I'm hoping the next 10 pounds
will really cut down on the belt size area.
I'll even let you in that I'm at 189 pounds as of late last night. I figure
another 10-15 lb more is about all I want to lose. I figure when I get to
that point, I can get back to lifting more often than 2x a week. I want to
get back to those new year's lifting goals that are slipping at the moment.
My lifting endurance is way down right now. My reps at 235 are down about a
third from what I was doing, which annoys me a bit. However, on the flip
side, I'm anxious to get to this lower weight level and get back to playing
racquetball again. I'm curious to see how much better my cardio workouts will
help me in the 3rd and 4th games when I would tired out before.
Another slooooowwww day at work. So, I ended up puttering with shipquests
once again. Did the cargo and galley quests. Cargo ending is a bit
confusing, but it does become clear once you re-read Mel's quest hint. On the
other hand, the galley quest is straightforward, except killin' all of those
noob mobs once again screws my knight valor rep. Good grief, I'm down about
100 take prisoner mobs to make that all up again. *sigh* Good thing I'm not
trying to do a serious knight reinc. this time around. I need to dig up the
cash to do the next ship level (4 if I remember right). Then I can see if any
more new quests besides ship quest 5 pops up. I still need to work on
teleportation chamber (ugh) and then all of the various ship sailor quarters.
I need to make a path down that ship hq island so I can start those quests.
puuh. Damn you Mel! Although, I think I'm better than half way through the
shipquests. Woo woo! Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "Head Like a
Hole" Nine Inch Nails
Well, I'm back from a week long vacation to the farm. I took last week off to
head back to help with the spring planting of the corn crop. Just as I
arrived home Friday evening, my parents announced that they had just planted
all the corn. Hoom! Well, it turned out to be the right call, as the weather
was rainy the entire weekend, and then turned cold for most of the week. So
instead of bouncing around the tractor, I ended up working on firewood for
most of my vacation. Dad and I cleaned out the remainder of firewood from our
shed. The old firewood in the back had been there for many years and had
begun dry rotting. My brother is happily taking that wood down to his place
to burn this winter in his stove.
Saturday was misty, sprinkly rains, and I worked out in it. Sunday was so wet
and gloomy, I even stayed inside and took the day off. Incredible for me.
Let me tell you this, there isn't anything to watch on a Sunday morning on
regular television that doesn't involve politics. It took me another couple
of days to finally fill the shed section .
Besides working a lot with firewood, I even went out morel mushroom hunting.
A local delight, my parents and I ate morels daily from all of the bounty that
Pa and I found. My spots tend to be late season, so I didn't have much luck
until late in the week. Dad knows of other spots, and he had better luck
there. I prolly got around a bread sack's worth. Not the greatest amount,
but more than enough for me.
Otherwise, I got several naps in. I managed to get a slight tan going, and I
have that red neck tan going as well. But now I'm back to work, and I
didn't get jack done today. The first day back from a week off is just a
write-off. Spent most of the day just going to meetings and getting caught
up. I can only imagine how bad a 3 week vacation would put me behind. Well,
I had better head off to the gym and see how much weight I've gained/lost.
I'm hoping I dropped 2 pounds to get to my first goal! Tonight's blog brought
to you by "Evil Woman" Electric Light Orchestra
Just wanted to mention that work is grinding, and I'll be taking next week off
for vacation to help plant this year's corn crop. That is all. Tonight's
blog entry brought to you by "Californication" Red Hot Chili Peppers
Not much to write up tonight. Weekend went by swiftly as they often do.
Spent most of it out in the timber pulling out more tops for firewood. Really
nice right now with all of the brush still lacking leaves. I'm able to see
where the tops are at and the best routes to approach with the tractor to pull
them out. In a few short weeks it will be a lush, green mess out there again.
The multifloral rose, gooseberry, and blackberry bushes are overtaking the
timber with many of the hardwoods chopped down. I come out each weekend with
a large dose of scratches across the legs and arms from working in that stuff.
Anyways, weather was nice, just cool enough to be able to wear a long-sleeved
shirt and still be comfortable. I managed to haul out several nice oak logs.
It is still too cool though for us to start the corn planting, although by
this coming weekend we may end up planting. Here is to hoping we get some 70+
temps soon. I'll know by Thur. evening if I'm taking next week off to help
with the planting.
Work is chugging along. Unfortunately, one of our pending contracts got put
into hold due to lack of customer funds. I may end up having to find work
outside of the group by summertime. And now there is talk of a re-org heading
my way in a week. Appears the manager 3 levels up is changing jobs, so I'm
sure there will be a shuffle as the new guy takes over. whee. Tonight's blog
brought to you by "Loser" 3 Doors Down
Not going to be able to make it to the blogging today. Work has run long, and
I need to jet out now if I want to catch the abs class tonight. Tomorrow
evening then. Tonight's blog brought to you by "Istanbul" They Might Be
Slow last couple of days. Still puttering with integration testing. Looking
like I'll get a day or 2 to put some time to building some Visual Basic code
for the next run of automation. However, my energy levels are a little low,
so I'm not anticipating much progress until the motivation kicks in.
Still trying to decide if I want to go to the farm this weekend or stay in
town this weekend and be a bum. Torn between taking advantage of the spring
weather and play in the timber or get the place to myself (roomie out of town)
and play a bunch of Bat. Decisions, decisions. I guess if you see me online
here on Sat., you'll know which way I decided. Well, I'm going to cut short
tonight and head off to the gym early so I can get a grocery store run in
tonight. Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "One More Last Chance" Vince
As promised yesterday, I'll recount my Easter weekend. Thursday night I left
Cedar Rapids at around 6 in the evening. Low on the SW horizon was a small
dark storm cloud. As I drove along, that cloud kept climbing higher and
higher into the sky as I travelled north and east away from it. By the time I
got to the farm, it was a massive storm. Turns out it was a tornadic storm
that eventually hit Iowa City and only left us with a few tenths of rain at
Friday I was chauffering the parents back to Cedar Rapids for an antique show.
This year they had moved the show to a new location, so the parental modules
wanted a driver to show them the way. Ah, the dues a good son must pay. Show
was of decent size and quality. I didn't purchase anything, but my dDad came
home with a few items he considered bargains. Sad thing is that the average
age of the show attendees was in the late 50's. Not a way to pick up chicks,
that's for sure!
Saturday was a beautiful day in April. Sunny, breezy, and 80 degree temps
(almost 25 degrees above normal). In the morning, I disc'ed down the plowed
sod ground. The ground was pretty mellow except in the few clay areas of the
field. Afterwards, Dad and I cleaned up the disc and oiled down the disc
blades to retard rusting and put it away for the year. In the afternoon, I
was out in the timber pulling out more firewood tops. I even managed by the
end of the day to come out with a light sun burn on my exposed flesh. I
rarely tan easily, burn a few dozen times to a light brownish red by the end
of summer. That night, the parents and I attending Easter vigil mass because
Mom had to work Sunday morning. Easter Sunday was pretty slow with a day long
rain. Since we were holding an Easter supper, Dad and I puttered around the
house. Dad cleaned most of the rooms, I ended up dusting and straightening up
my room for entertainment. Yeah, network television on Sun. morning is
My sister rolled in around 3 to start the festivities. Nothing special, but
some quality family time with my bro and sis and their families. By 7, I had
to head out for my other home. I was nearly stuck in the mud trying to get my
truck out of the back hay shed (for hail protection from all of the weekend
storms). I had to drop it into four-wheeled drive and rock it several times
until I was able to free myself. The truck is still pretty caked up with mud.
Having fun at work making the developer's lives miserable. I'm still finding
issues with their code, and their laments is amusing. I laugh at their pain!
And speaking of pain, gas prices climbed to 2.75 a gallon now. Looks like we
are well underway for that magic 3 dollar mark soon around here. On the
upside, I managed to hit the 10 lb weight loss by Easter, so that's 10 pounds
in 6 weeks, not too shabby. Hopefully I can keep this rate up for a few more
months. Still suffering from lack of energy during weight lifting nights, but
otherwise the diet is quite tolerable during the rest of the day and on cardio
nights. Well, on that good news, I'm off to the gym. Tonight's blog brought
to you by "Ah Leah" Donnie Iris.
Oof...where did the day go? I'll blog tomorrow about my Easter weekend and
stuff. Nothing exciting, but then again, when does it get exciting in my
life? Blog entry brought to you by "Iris" Goo Goo Dolls.
Yet another beautiful spring day (sunny, 70's, breezy) and I'm trapped inside
at work. Ho hum day at work to top it off. Worked on a test report most of
the afternoon, but at least the morning flew by as I tracked down a weird bug
with one of my support tools. Turns out the radios I test can spew out an EOF
character which screws up my parser as I run through the logs. Just not a
good workaround except for removing the offending character for now.
Downside to warmer weather, office AC has now kicked on and naturally it is
set too low for my liking. Already I can feel my fingers cramp up from the
typing in the chill. Sad that I have to wear a long-sleeved shirt in the
summer and short-sleeved shirts in the winter since the office cooling/heating
is so poorly controlled. But what do I expect for a building built around
Somehow I managed to sneak down another pound over the weekend. That would
put me at 9 nearly 6 weeks in. I figure by the end of summer I should be at
goal 2 with the current rate. woot! Too bad my endurance is suffering at
lifting though. Just don't recover well these days. Oh well, worth the trade
in my opinion. Tonight's blog brought to you by "Mr. Tinkertrain" Ozzy
These spring weekends sure fly by swiftly. Saturday I helped Dad get the farm
machinery ready for spring field work and planting. Less than a month from
now and we'll be planting the corn crop, weather permitting. Sunday I spent
the day out in the timber pulling up oak tops for firewood. It is really
convenient to find the tops with all of the leaves off of the brush. Sadly, I
won't have much time before everything breaks out the foliage and obscures my
vision. To continue my bad luck streak with equipment, found out that the 630
tractor was leaking gas into the oil when we checked its oil levels at the end
of the day. Shesh! Well, at least no serious harm done, but we'll have to
find the problem and get that fixed now.
Going to be a short week since my company graciously allows us slackers to
have Good Friday off. Turns out I get to chauffer the parental modules down
to an antique show here in town because it got moved to a new location and the
modules don't know where to drive to. Lucky me. There goes my Friday off.
Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "Song 2" Blur.
Not much to report tonight. Met with the customers from Spain today for 2
hour meeting. It is always interesting trying to talk technical to someone
whose native language is not English. At least the one system engineer had a
pretty decent grasp of English. It was fun listening to their conversational
Spanish, and not being able to interpret it. On the other hand, I could
partially translate the Spanish. Just goes to show, conversational language
is 10 times harder to learn than proper language. Err...correction, partially
translate the engineer's written Spanish. Damn, I hate this stupid editor.
Rainy day blues and my darn eyelid keeps twitching all day long. I just want
this day to end so I can go home and eat a nice supper and try to continue to
adjust to daylight savings time. Bah, at least the weekend weather is looking
good. Oh yeah, I got my 5 year service catalog. At my job, at 5 year
intervals, you get a catalog to pick out one free piece of overpriced junk as
a gift. I'm hoping I can find something that I can ship off as an X-mas gift
to a family member. I haven't looked at the catalog yet to know. So, this
means I'm fully vested in a pension fund that's about to freeze (and will
prolly go away long before I'm retired.) Hooray for me! Time for the gym.
Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "Gimme Shelter" Rolling Stones
Eventful day at work, that is if you are a tester at heart. I managed to find
a few bugs to make the engineers grind their teeth on. Unfortunately, I got
one occurrence of a bug that I can't reproduce (the bane of my existence!).
So, all in all, it is a good day. Looks like I'll have another day or 2 worth
of puttering with the system to see if I can break anything else.
Oddly enough, my running late last night caused me to cross paths with 1 of
the 3 mentioned in prior entries. Well, after some small talk, she mentioned
that she wanted to catch me at the gym again. We'll see if there is any
follow-through on her promises. Just wanted to point out how strange and
coincidental life works out some days. Some people may say that there are no
such things as coincidences, but then I'm not that fatalistic in my approach
to life. Then again, I don't look a gift horse in the mouth either.
Regardless, I got an uptick on my happiness meter yesterday evening.
Speaking of the gym, might as well document where I'm at so far on my New
Year's gym resolutions. Looking good so far on the lifting portion, as I'm
doing 8/6/5 reps at 225 lbs. I think I'm going to up it by 10, build up some
more strength, and then back down to see if that helps a bit. I feel like I'm
plateaued at the moment on the flat bench. As for the other one, I'm halfway
to my first goal. The diet doesn't seem to be bothering as much during my
workouts. I'm just hoping my body hasn't adapted too well, and I stop losing
weight due to increased efficiency at processing the calories I do intake.
The goal of a pound a week so far has been exceeded, but I'm finding my
weekends on the farm are costing me several days of weight loss days during
the week. I'm dreading the scale after Easter dinner. At least this will be
the last family feast before my birthday. I'm still not up to running yet, I
just don't enjoy it enough. However, I did try the newest elipitical machines
and are enjoying them. Also finding my ass is getting handed to me by said
Congratulations goes out to Boot on her preliminary good news on her
opportunity in Sweden. You go girl! Just goes to show that sometimes dreams
can come true with a lot of effort.
Ok, gym time. Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "Beat It" Michael
No entry tonight, because I spent too much of the evenin' chatting away about
how polka music really isn't that bad, and other things. Tonight's entry
brought to you by "Because the Night" 10000 Maniacs
Weekend went by fast and sweet. Watched "Serenity" on Friday night. I loved
the movie and just wished Fox had not been such morons to have killed the
"Firefly" series before it got going. Spoiler alert: I was surprised they
killed off Wash, I kindof expected Book to get killed though. He just never
fit in with the rest of the crew and we never did get the character to expose
his past although it is hinted he was also an 'assassin of the state' like the
main antagonist in the movie. But Wash's death just seemed so arbitrary, like
it was hacked in at the last minute by some studio exec. And I swear Josh
Whedon just wants to write a female ninja character, but River was the closest
he could come to it with this world of characters. Just why do I find River
so sexy? Is it the strange combo of innocence and violence? Of course, it
didn't hurt that the actress is a cutie.
Saturday I was out on the farm. Dad and I fixed the log splitter and we
finished up the last of the wood I had ready for splitting. Sunday morning,
watched it rain, and then the rest of the day we watched it stay gloomy and
foggy. I even got a nice nap, which my sis and her broodlings woke me up
from. Somewhat adjusted this morning to daylight savings. Last few weeks I
had been waking up an hour earlier for some reason, so it wasn't such a shock
to the system. Just hoping I can get to sleep earlier tonight. Tonight's
blog brought to you by "Silver Future" Monster Magnet.
Another short one, as I need to dash to the truck before the rain storm hits.
Got ship class 2 completed and lounge ship quest completed as well. I got
lucky on the lounge one that I had a high e% that managed to hit all of the
"target" areas of the quest. Back to mongering materials for class 3 build.
I shudder at the cost of a class 3, 1M in credits. *whine* Oh well, onwards
and downwards I guess. Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "Doll Parts"
Going to be verrrry short tonight. Ran really late tonight working on and and
completing the captain's cabin quest for ships. Wow, nice and evil Melemkor.
Now I'm half-awake and still need to go to the gym yet. Ah well, I suppose
there could be worse things in life. Luckily I didn't completely hose up my
knight rep tonight attempting this quest again. Will work on cargo hold and
crow's nest when I can get some party help for the mob I need to cap. Ok, off
to the gym. Tonight's blog brought to you by "Bust a Move" Young MC.
Work still has me continuing on with the formal qualification. I should have
that done in a couple more days. Then lovely paperwork, and on to a new
program or 2. I also spent most of the day updating our documentation
generation tools to work with the latest MS Word product. Fortunately the
changes were not as profound as past releases. And during this, my computer
decided to reboot itself and lost my sound card and network card. Had to
uninstall and reinstall each piece of hardware and a reboot or 2 later before
I had network access and music playing capability again. I shudder to think
what life would have been like without my background music running over my
headphones. Why, life would have been barbaric!
In spite of Mom feeding me too much (good) food this weekend, I managed to
maintain where I was at before the weekend. Hoping to lose a pound or 2 more
this week. Although, I was bad for lunch today and had potato o'lay's from
Taco John's for lunch. Mmmmm...greasy fried potato discs. Well, guess I'll
have to walk extra long on the tread tonight to make up for that.
Had fun picking on my friend at work today. Always good to surprise him with
a "you've been re-org'ed" comment before he's even aware of it. I love the
look of "yeah, right". I keep wondering when our group is going to get spun
off and put under another higher level manager. I half suspect that time will
be coming soon. After a while, you stop caring about your higher lvl of
management since you never interact with them anyways.
Good to see you are back with us again Boot! Tonight's blog brought to you by
"Run to the Hills" Iron Maiden
Finally got the qualification running here at work. Had to wait a few extra
days for production to get around to running their tests. Oh well, by the
weekend I should have this project mostly wrapped up.
Speaking of weekends, spent the past one out on the farm. Sat. morning I show
up and Dad is ready and rarin' to go out and castrate the 4 holstein bull
calves he bought on Tues. So, out we go and create 4 steers in short order.
After that, we head out to play with the log splitter. My brother replaced
the old engine with one from an old snow blower. It takes us an hour to get
the fuel screw settings to get the engine to run well under load. By the
early afternoon, I am back out splitting firewood when I heard a screeching
noise around the engine area and had a sudden drop in hydraulic pressure.
Fortunately it was not the replacement engine going bad. However, there is a
coupling between the engine shaft and the pump shaft made out of hard rubber
that had finally stripped out. So, I had to put the rig away and have Dad
track down a replacement. Shesh! Well, things runs in threes, so we'll see
what the last item to go wrong will be.
Sunday I was running the chainsaw instead of splitting. I got several more
logs blocked up for splitting. By 2pm, I wrapped up and headed inside for a
nice afternoon nap on the couch. Fifteen minutes later, the doorbell rings,
and my grandmother and great-aunt are at the front door for a visit. No nap
for Roger. 8( After the ladies left, parents and I went out for a walk in the
first real spring feeling weather we've had this year. A bit breezy, sunny,
with temps in the low 50's. I'm definitely ready for spring. Now we just
need to get the rain that the meteorologists are predicting this week. Still
very short on the subsoil moisture from a dry winter.
Still no closer on ships today. Still mongering that cloth. Back to the
grind tomorrow. Tonight's blog brought to you by "Thunderstruck" AC-DC
Completed lvl 3 of knight rep for valor. Good grief, what a pain in the ass.
Still have to capture a big mob yet with the take prisoner skill. I'll need
to bribe a party to help me out here in the near future. Otherwise, another
slow day here at work. Still crunching the docs and making the eamils.
Last thought of the night, somehow I lost another pound from Tues. to Wed. I
must be doing something right, finally. It took almost 3 weeks before my body
decided to start losing the fat. I never hear about that part of the diet and
exercise song and dance. They should be saying, diet, exercise, and suffer
for 3 weeks before results. Well, I hope I can keep the momentum going now.
Time for a lifting session.
Tonight's blog brought to you by "Hell's Bells" AC-DC.
Ground on some documentation for the release again today. I'll skip over that
boring stuff. Decided to crank on my knight rep for valor again. Camped out
in drow tower the entire day taking prisoners. Also made sure to hit the mobs
that drop cloth items constantly. Been cannibalizing the items for cloth for
ship building down the line. So in a way, I'm working both ships and knights
at the same time. I'm finding this 2nd lvl to be arduous to grind through.
Sadly, I made over 600k xp today that I still can't spend due to me having
safe xp for knight guild. What a pain in the ass. Definitely need the
cavalier guild for some simple offense and stunned man. Well, prolly have
more time tomorrow to finish grinding lvl 2 rep and move to lvl 3.
Question, is it possible to lose 1.5 lbs in 2 days? I haven't been doing
anything different and that much seems to be gone since my Sun. weigh-in to
last night. I'll have to double check again tonight. If so, woo woo! If
not, no surprise. Anyways, time to roll on to the gym for another night of
cardio. Hope my feed hold out. Tonight's blog brought to you by "Bullet with
Butterfly Wings" Smashing Pumpkins
Feeling a bit better today. Had this weird stomach ailment yesterday. Had
this combo of upset stomach, slight cramps, and slight nausea the entire day.
Either it was a 24 hour bug, or I was pregnant for a day. After a supper of
water and saltines and a good night's sleep, I'm up and about better today.
Today saw me wrapping up the dry run formal testing on my current radio
program. Doing the paperwork today, and then the administrative stuff
tomorrow. Looking good for an FQT start before the weekend and wrapping up
next week, right on schedule. As an aside, whenever I talk about STD's at
work, it means software test document rather than the family of diseases. I
can only imagine what people must think when they overhear some of my lunch
conversations. "Yeah, that STD is a pain in my butt!"
Moving on. I have achieved a major goal for this reinc. I managed to craft a
12 slotter today. I got the spam list of those who had made one before me,
and a 100k xp. Kindof wished it was 100k gold instead, since xp is like
water. And I can't spend it since I'm still sitting on 21M of safe xp thanks
to the knight rep drawing out this reinc. I can't finish till I get that
goofy valor (take prisoner) rep done. *sigh* At current rate of knight rep,
I'll be done by the end of this year, maybe. Anyways, this means I can start
focusing a bit more on the ship quests here again, or knight rep. Tune in and
see what I feel like doing
Good to see Ewige back on the mud again for a bit of time. Really miss that
Canuck! He reminds me of some good times when I was unemployed for a few
months and I played Bat like a madman. Now if only Boot would come back and
start idling again for me to pick on.
Oh yeah, since I wasn't up to blogging last night, I haven't mentioned my
weekend yet. On the other hand, not much to talk about. Spend the day at
work on Sat., stayed home Fri. night to avoid St. Patty's day in a bar, and
Sun. the biggest accomplishment was grilling out and reading my magazines. Ah
well, I can use a weekend off like that now and again. Tonight's blog entry
brought to you by "Funky Town" Pseudoecho
Sorry for the lack of blog tonight, just not feeling well. Going to head home
instead of gym tonight. Back tomorrow, I hope. Night!
Finished up the manual testing portion of this qualification effort. Now I
have five more tests to run through before I can get into final qualification.
That will be nice. I'm pretty beat tonight, prolly due to the whole reduced
I went out for lunch today with some of the coworkers from the previous
workplace. I learned my old company president now has a blog and is paying
for ad space to drive people to read his drivel. Based on what I remember, I
hope the admin. assistant is correcting his 4th grade spelling and grammar
before i hits the world. It had been a while since we had last ate out
together, so most of the time was spent catching up on who is doing what and
sharing any gossip we have from the old place. And I was a good boy too and
ate a fairly lightweight meal consisting of grilled chicken breast, rice, and
some steamed veggies. Too bad there wasn't enough there to really fill me up.
I'm already hungry and tonight is a lifting night. 8( I can see now that
dieting and weight lifting really don't go together very well.
Remember how I mentioned snow? Well, our storm is just now getting here, so
it doesn't look like we'll get all that much here. I guess back home on the
farm, they got several inches of snow overnight. Looks like I'll be staying
in town this weekend. Now I just have to figure out what I want to be doing
with my time off. The PS2 is still broken and I still haven't bought a
replacement. Meep! Tonight's blog brought to you by "Boogie Man" Rob Zombie.
Finally got that manual testing wrapped up just now. Well, the legacy tests
anyways. I still have to write up and test the 1 new manual test for this
qualification. In other news from work, I hate supporting customers. In
other news, the sky is blue.
The weather reports are showing a potential snow storm on the way for tonight
into tomorrow. Argh, I thought we were done with winter. This could impact
my weekend plans. Talking 5+ inches of the white stuff over home. If that
much hits, it won't be melted off before the weekend. And if I can't find the
firewood, it will make it very hard for me to block it up. Alternative plans
will greatly involve me and Bat or a PS2. Ah, such is my life! And yet for
some reason, I want to find a wife and screw this up?!? Damn instincts! Oh
well, in a few more years I'll be too old for marriage and then this problem
in my life won't matter.
Ho hum...not much else. Time for another cardio night at the gym. Tonight's
blog entry brought to you by "Rip Off the Wings of a Butterfly" His Infernal
Busy day out in the lab running manual tests on the HFXXXXX radio. One more
day of that should get me through all of them. Testing maybe a bit boring,
but it does make the time fly by.
Man, this dieting stuff sucks. Last night I am constantly tired and drained
by 4 o'clock. Even worse, it is really starting to hoark up my lifting. Last
night I had to quit early on my decline bench press due to just running out
of energy. Then, after hip sled, I had to completely stop due feeling faint.
It got so bad, I had to sit on a bench for 5 min. till the nausea and
light-headedness passed. I ended up quitting then and heading home. shesh!
Silly body, I have plenty of fat fuel for you to burn! I'm hoping tonight's
cardio goes a bit better.
Bleah, I still don't have my bracket for the NCAA pool filled out yet. Just
not feeling the motivation this year with Iowa St. not in it. Prolly not a
bad thing either, since I never do very well in it anyways. I favor the
midwestern teams far too much.
Tonight's blog entry brought to you by "Slow Ride" Foghat.
Ok, so I was bad last week and skipped my blog entry on Thur. due to lack of
energy and lack of stuff to say. Which, I suppose I could have wrote, but
then I would have dragged it out for about 50 lines, and frankly the world is
a better place without that having been done. Anyways, nice weather weekend
(mostly) for once. Actually had a warm (upper 50's) and windy day on
Saturday. My nieces and youngest nephew was over to the farm. I wandered out
to the timber, but found the ground so soft and muddy yet. So, I decided to
hook onto our trailer and haul in 2 loads of firewood that my brother and his
friend had cut up last fall, but hadn't taken. On each trip back to the farm,
my little nephew Cayden decided he was going to help. Being not quite 5 years
old, I had him push wood off the end of the trailer to "help" and hand carry
smaller pieces over to the pile. He was thrilled to death! Then, I had him
sit next to me to run the trigger on the chain saw as I blocked up a log. He
was quite excited afterwards.
Sunday was cooler and even more wind. I fired up our 930 Case tractor and
headed out to pull up some more logs for blocking. The log splitter is still
in the shop, and figures to be that way for a few weeks. And until the ground
dries up a bit, I'll have to bide my weekends with blocking more firewood now
that most of the frost is out of the ground and I can get the logs out of the
pasture. After a fine home-cooked lunch of ribeye steaks (fried, of course)
and hash browns, I laid around watching it shower. Ma is such a mean cook,
makes me eat too much. *grin* And then I wonder why I gain weight on the
Which brings us to today, which was another day of me puttering around trying
to get testing done for a qual. Not much else of importance. Today's blog
entry brought to you buy "Fool For the City" Fog Hat.
Not much to add to today. I didn't have any accident with my computer today,
incredible! Still not 100% back to where I was, but now I'm good enough for
now to be productive again.
Spending a bit of time working on the chest creation skills. At 93% I still
don't have enough skill to build a dukonium chest, mrr. So I have this box
loaded up with dukonium that I can't use yet. I guess I get to do another
boring bamboo/ebony chest to get those last few %'s I need to get to 95.
I haven't made a lot of progress on the ship quests of late. I still need to
make 26kg more of cloth. Unfortunately I am forced to cannibalize for the
material, so this is going slowly. I may have to focus on this effort a bit
more if I ever want to get on to class 3 and see how much more horror awaits
me. I have not even looked at the quests I have available to me either.
I've been wrestling with myself about buying a home computer again. I just
know if I get that machine I'd be reincing into a party useful reinc just so I
could play with the nightlife+ ss. So for now, I keep holding off. I'm
worried I'd start cutting gym just to get home and mud. If I were 20 pounds
lighter, I wouldn't worry so much. *laugh* Well, time to kick off the last
test for the day and head to the gym. Tonight's blog brought to you by "Hurt"
by Johnny Cash
Well, it would seem my curse has continued into today. While re-installing
visual studio 6 and the visual studio service pack 6, I got some dll corrupted
that caused my pc to reboot as I logged in. The IT support person fortunately
could log in without my problems. Turns out, the virus scan software was what
got corrupted and would crash on me. Lovely. So, he nuked off my old profile
and a new one was loaded that fixed the issue. Unfortunately, that also nuked
off a few hours of getting my set-up to where I liked it. *sigh* Tune in
tomorrow, I'm sure somehow my monitor will catch fire next.
Last night I was lifting with a buddy at the gym. By dumb luck, we were using
a machine next to the one being puzzled over by a cute gal. This gal then
looks over and asks me how to use that particular machine. So, I showed her
how to use it and then bashfully went back to my machine.
Four hours later...
Holy crap, I could have actually chatted with her. You know, like make small
talk and get to possibly know her name. Good grief, I'm such a thick-headed
moron. Well, if there is ever a next time, hopefully I'll recognize the
situation and be more personable. I'm sure I appeared like a total
disinterested goof with a soft voice. In my defense though, she was cute! I
was just happy to be helping her out.
Hooray for rain! Had our first rain storm of the year, that should take care
of some of the frost in the ground and help with our dry situation. We are
going to need a lot of spring rains this year to get caught up. Well, that's
about all I know this evenin'. Tonight's blog brought to you by "Highwayman"
Don't let me near your hardware, apparently I am cursed! So far, the PS2
won't read any more discs, the engine on the log splitter is now locked up,
and today the hard drive on my work PC died. Eep!
So Friday night, I had the place to myself and wanted to fire up the PS2.
Well, I was already having problems with the system not reading discs on the
first dozen attempts, but after an hour and several different discs, the old
PS2 just won't read them any more. *sigh* Looks like I am going have to
shell out 150 bucks soon. Then on Sat., I went home (with the PS2, I needed
something constructive to do). It was a beautiful day, sunny with a breeze
and temps around freezing. After a couple hours, Dad even popped out to help,
and 20 min. later the engine slowed down and then stopped. We checked the oil
and found the motor had sucked it all out. Yup, it was locked up solid as I
couldn't pull the rip cord any more. So we hauled it over to a friend's shop
to get a new engine. The engine was 20 years old, so we weren't too surprised
to have it finally give out. Fortunately, a replacement motor won't be overly
expensive (approx. 125 bucks). Oh yeah, forgot to mention that Sat. afternoon
I tried to start the pulling tractor and found the battery was dead. I
noticed that one of the nieces or nephews must have been playing with the
radio and had left it on to drain the battery. A few hours later with the
battery charger and I have enough cranking amps to get the engine to start.
So Sunday the snow and ice came to visit NE Iowa. With Ma and Pa both having
to work (Ma to the Lutheran Home and Dad to the local auction house), I left
early enough to catch a couple hours on the treadmill. I managed to get 5
miles in at my normal walking pace. Afterwards, I went back home and
shovelled out the driveway. It was a very wet and heavy snow. Fortunately
there wasn't more than an inch in most places as my lower back was complaining
by the time I was done. The rest of the afternoon I watched several hours of
Toonami and Adult Swim stuff I had tivo'ed from the Cartoon Network and movie
"Brothers Grimm". The movie was alright with all of the little nods to the
various fairy tales, but it didn't suck me in. During all of that I managed
to sneak a couple loads of laundry in.
Then comes today, and my work PC had been popping up an odd error. Well, it
finally decided to lock up to a blue screen of death. IT came and replaced
the hard drive. Fortunately most of my local data was saved, but now I have
to re-install all of my applications. ugh. Right now I'm having problems
re-installing Visual Studio 6. On the upside, my coworker Forrest and I
managed to resolve an issue a customer was having. Hooray for progress!
Maybe this week will turn out better.
Found out from my Dad this weekend that my sister is now looking at a sports
car. *sigh* Appears, she is getting worse rather than better with her
separation. I'm worried she is going to get herself into some sort of trouble
(pregnancy, drugs, STD, accident, abused, etc.) with her ways. I know it is
eating up my parents, but what do you do with a 31 year old woman who doesn't
want to live like a grown-up any longer?
How odd, just now one of the gals that I've mentioned several times before
decided to pop over to chat at my desk. Appears the less effort I put into
being in her company, the more she puts into it. How odd. Even more
interesting, the 2nd one hasn't put any effort. So why is it whenever I would
go out with those 2 and another guy, the one that chats with me always hangs
out with the other guy and the 2nd gal chats with me. I don't understand how
this woman thinks.
On the funny side, after church my parents and I hit a local restaurant for
supper (we go on Sat. evening mass). My Mom points out that two girls were
trying to catch my eye after communion and she asked if I had noticed. Of
course, if you know me, I didn't. How is it that I'm so blind? I told her to
point it out to me next time so I can pick up on this better. Shesh, I'm just
clueless it would appear.
Ah well, time to roll out to the gym. Tonight's blog brought to you by "Under
My Thumb" Rolling Stones.
Oh my, nearly forgot to blog today. I got into a jam again for time last
night, hence no blog entry. Work is really picking up for me. I'm starting
to do customer support which is a bit stressful for me. Not sure how much I'm
going to like this, but there really isn't anyone else available in our group
at the moment who can handle the duties.
Headed out last evening for an hour to hang out with some coworkers. Then, I
hit Ash Wednesday evening service so I can get my ash markings. Sorry, no
photographic evidence was taken. So far, day of Lent and I'm already ready
for pizza. *sigh* Just 38 more days.
Slowly gathering the materials I need for ship class 2, I can only imagine the
hell it will be for lvl 6. Biggest pain is now getting the 40kg of cloth.
Either I cannibalize or pray I can find an alloy that works. Prolly not much
luck either way. *sigh* Oh well, tis a learning experience as they say.
Guess that's about all for tonight, time to go and get some weight lifting in
before some grocery shopping. Tonight's blog entry brought to you by
"Everything Counts" by Depeche Mode.
Missed yesterday's blog entry due to a sudden upswing in the work load. I
ended up running behind that I needed to leave to get to the gym in time for
an abs class. With Lent starting tomorrow, I've been enjoying a couple of the
things I'll be giving up. I'm going to miss the Kit Kat's and pizza and
fries. 8( Yeah, it is a dual duty Lenten sacrifice. Giving up rich foods
will help me drop a couple of pounds as well as the spiritual effort the
sacrifice it is to entail. So, 40 days and 40 nights I'll be in self-denial.
I'm already looking forward to Easter, sigh.
Work has picked up due to two customer support issues and a software release
that got started this week. I happily welcome the extra work, as I was
spending far too much time on Bat for my liking the last 2 weeks. By Friday
night, my fingers and hands were aching from all of the typing. I'm just
can't do those 10+ hour Bat days for long lengths of time any longer. 8(
Spent the past weekend in town. Weather wasn't great for working outside on
Sat. So, the roomie and I hit the gym and did a long lifting session. I'm
getting closer on my new year's goal for bench press. Got 9 on the first
bench press set for 225. I'm thinking another couple weeks and I'll get to
10. My endurance is shot after that though, as I drop down to 4 and 5 reps on
the subsequent sets though. I even got 720+sled for 10 reps on the hip sled.
The only downside to doing that weight, my legs have been sore since. Sun.
and Mon. it was hard for me to walk up stairs. I'm still a bit sore yet
Sat. afternoon I bopped around and picked up some used music CD's and a little
shopping. Hit evening church, then went out with a couple friends to catch a
bar band. This one has a friend of friends playing the drums in it. They are
alright, nothing special considering they are a cover band. Too bad the bar
was soo smoky though. We all complained about it on the way home. If Cedar
Rapids had a smokeless bar I'd bethere. Seems everyone who goes out drinking
feels the need to smoke, a lot. Bleah!
Sunday I slept in late, hit the gym for an hour of cardio walking on the
treadmill, and then bummed the rest of the day. I won't have too many more
Sundays like that with the calendar turning towards spring. Already I am
noticing the daylight in the mornings when I wake and in the evenings when I
leave work. The snow from our latest storm is mostly gone again. About time
for the next major storm to roll in.
Time to roll out to the gym and get cardio in tonight. Tonight's blog brought
to you by "Flashlight" by Parliament (Parliamentary Funkadehlic)
Another slow one at work. Finding that knight guild progress is much slower
at lvl 2 for valor. What used to easily raise it by a quarter point now no
longer advances it. I'm worried what lvl 3 is going to be like. I'm also
finding that spell parry at 50% sucks, hard. So far, out of 20 spell attempts
to block, 0 have been blocked. Chatted with Shin. and he mentioned that a
bastard sword is smaller than he thought, which was hurting my chances as
well. Hoom. Well, as a dwarf I'm sure as hell not going to be wielding a
blasted 2-h sword. Guess a shield is needed to make this skill work better is
my guess. Got first class ship assembled today, and did a sailors quarters
quest as well. The other quests are not looking as much fun though. Class 2
looks to be a pain to gather materials with an alloy and cloth being 2 of the
fun ingredients to obtain.
Annoyance of the day (from last evening), if you are at a gym locker room, and
there is limited bench space for seating, please be considerate and move your
bag that is covering up half a bench. I'm sure your stuff is valuable, but I
think you could put it another foot lower to the ground and still not damage
anything. Besides, the extra inches you stretch to get stuff will help you
out in the long run. Thank you.
Oh yeah, sword of wonders is a funky thing indeed, the random +/- to stats,
and hp/sp/ep bonuses is interesting to watch. Only annoying one is the -50 to
spmax that hits now and again, but the +50 spmax is neat.
Well, that's all for this evening, time to go and lift. Tonight's blog entry
brought to you by Talk Talk "It's My Life"
Well, at least the 3 hours of meetings were useful today. Found several
issues in the 2 hour code review that would have been discovered at a later
time when I would be testing. Best to fix them now before the code is
finished. The other meeting was for a bid review. Not exactly the most
exciting meeting type, but necessary nonetheless.
Otherwise, got the necessary materials mined to start my first class1 ship.
Just need to find me a cheap +3str or con item and then about 35 min. of free
time to do it. I also finally mined what should be the last materials I'll
need for my first pearl and diamond alloying. With a little luck, I should be
able to wrap up 2 more chests by Friday, here's hoping for a big boost to the
create chest skill %. No progress on the knights today, just didn't have the
time or energy to dig out a mount (which is the only way for me to kill the
mobs that give me +valor rep). With the crappy weather predicted for the
weekend, I may be in to the office to monger some rep.
Ho hum, a few more days till the weekend, but nothing to really look forward
to though. Hoping there is a decent band playing this weekend, I could use an
A couple of my female coworkers decided today that I needed an arranged
marriage. Know what, that may not a completely bad idea. I was also told
that I had a "brick in my butt" when it comes to getting dating and married.
That isn't far from the truth either. Ah well, I was then consoled that a
good woman will come along when I least expect it. I hope they are right.
Anymore, I'm not so sure that is in my destiny. Well, time to hit the gym and
work some more on that new year's resolution. Tonight's blog brought to you
by Inxs "Original Sin".
Another day, another slow one here at work. Somehow I ended up with hours of
meetings tomorrow. *moan* Three hours in fact. Made some nice progress on
the mud today. Got my first 2 ship quests completed. Melemkor is evil by the
way. If you've done the merchant belt quest, you'll know the evil that's
involved. Also picked up a tome of chaos and sacced it to the knight guild to
complete the knowledge rep portion of the guild. I now get spell parry to 50%
and the next reinc I get to go right straight to full guild level since I can
train a pre-req for guild lvl 15. I found out I can't even max spell parry
since you need parry to 75% but can't get that in knight guild. *moan again*
Finding out swiftly that knight guild is nearly useless as a standalone guild.
I need to play with spell parry to see how useful it is at 50%. I now have
the last rep of valor to complete and what a pain that shall be. The final
rep is to capture a big enuff mob. I can only imagine how HUGE that will be.
That is going to be a weekend adventure and lots of bribery to some friends to
let me tag along when the mob is nd and attempt to complete. Well, that's
about all I gots today. Tonight's blog brought to you by Blonde "Call Me".
Well, no big surprises this weekend. It was as cold as predicted, and I
stayed inside when I could all weekend long. I watched the Iowa State men's
basketball team choke yet another game away. Looks like we are going to the
NIT if we can stay above .500. Sunday was the birthday party, and that wasn't
anything overly exciting. I hope little Trent enjoyed all the work his mother
put into it. Settled into another slow day here at work. Got stuck on a 90
min. customer support call where all I did was sit there and listen to the
system engineer in charge bang his head on the table. Seems our customer
isn't very knowledgeable, le sigh. Oh yeah, lost a dollar on a prop bet with
a bud here at work. I bet that Iowa St. men's basketball team would have a
better conference record than U. of Iowa's team. Bleah, the lost this weekend
clinched it for my friend. Double bleah. Not much else to report, so I'm off
to the gym. Going to go back to Mon. and Thur. lifting, the Tues./Thur.
routine just isn't working out for me. Guess I'll just have to lift by myself
until the other guys can make it. Tonight's blog entry brought to you by
Soundgarden "Burden in my Hand".
Going to be another short blog entry this evening I'm afraid. Finally made
2nd stage of the valor rep for knight guild. At least the next stage is
already 33% completed so getting to lvl 3 shouldn't take as long. Still is a
pain in the ass to solo. Made chest 3 this reinc, earned 14% chest creation
skills, just another 16 to go, then we'll see if I get lucky with a 12
slotter. Will start looking at ships once I wrap up some more of the knight
progress and chests get boring to make.
Otherwise, another day of hacking some VB code. Looking good, just need to
get some lab time next week with the new radio software. Since most of the
team will be on travel, I expect I'll have a lot of online and active time
next week. woot! No big plans for the weekend. Just going to a birthday
party for my brother's girlfriend's son who turned 3 yesterday. Going to be a
cold night tonight, -15 below approx. Glad I have a garage for my truck, it
may not want to start in the morning with temps like that. I haven't heard
how much snow the farm got. I'm hoping they got as much as we did so it will
melt off fairly fast so I can get back to working on the firewood pile again.
I'm about two average weekends from completion. Seriously considering
dragging up another pile as Dad had to tap into the "backup" firewood stores
this week. Plenty of wood in the backup pile, and it is a good thing to burn
through that before it begins to dry rot too much. Just means I'll have more
work this spring when I have to replace the wood taken. Time to cruise home.
This blog entry brought to you by Soundgarden "Fell on Black Days".
Didn't snow very much like they said, and now I'm running late for home and
supper. Taking a rain check on the blog entry this evening for tomorrow. Not
that much happened today. Just sat in my cube like a good drone and
programmed some Visual Basic code. Maybe tomorrow I'll have some neat insight
Well, I was in the middle of Monday's blog addition when the mud went into
downtime and I lost that entry. Well, I'll try to summarize the last few days
then since my last update. Sat. morning I woke up late (9am) and was
stumbling to the bathroom when my roomie said someone must really want to get
ahold of me. Sure enough, there was a message on my machine. I played the
message and heard my Mom's voice quiver a little as she informed me that my
cousin Linda had finally lost her 7 year battle with cancer. So, I got
dressed and went home for the weekend. We eventually learned that the funeral
would be held on Tuesday at 11am.
Now Linda was a year younger than me and we saw each other often growing up,
but by college time, we didn't see each other very often. By that time, we
stopped having the extended family get-togethers, so there wasn't much
occasion to meet.
So the weekend pretty much came and went. I puttered around the farm, got
some more wood split, nothing exciting. Monday I came into work. Good thing
I did, because I finally got my next project going. Then yesterday, I took
the day off. Dad ended up having to work, so I escorted Mom to the funeral
service. Fortunately, it wasn't quite as sad as the funeral for Linda's
younger sister, Jackie, who died in a automobile accident. Yeah, that family
has had a lot of tough luck the past few years. At least this time, everyone
had been expecting this. And it is for the best, as the cancer was eating my
cousin alive and she was in constant pain.
The service was somber, and Father Peters had one of the best homilies I've
heard in a funeral service. In the sermon, Father explained the Catholic
rituals of burial and the stages of grief and tied it with the readings and a
bit of wisdom. Too bad my sister didn't hear it, as Mom and I both hoped she
would be able to take something away from it.
At least the weather was beautiful for a February day in Iowa. It was warm,
almost 50, and sunny with a light breeze. It reminded me of the day when we
buried Brett seven years and 1 day earlier. Yeah, February is a bitch in my
book. The funeral side service was short. At least my aunt and uncle were
able to get a plot for Linda next to her sister Jackie. Afterwards, we ate
the post-funeral lunch. Mom and I sat with my great-aunt Meda and my last
living grandmother with a selection of aunts and uncles and counsins around
us. The meal was functional and quick. I got a hug from my aunt Diane
(Linda's mother) thanking me for attending. See, I didn't want to do the wake
or go through the reception line for viewing. I just couldn't go through with
that, I couldn't help them and it wasn't going to help me. So yeah, I was a
bit of a coward, but I didn't want to feel any more pain than I had to. I
didn't want to look into their eyes and see that look of loss and hurt again
and then feel it again myseYeah, I still feel that pain close to my heart and
will again someday I'm afraid. Yeah, I doubt my suffering was going to make
theirs any easier. Thankfully my aunt was kind enough to thank me. Even my
grandmother thanked me for coming. Sometimes, just being there is good
So here I am back to work on a Wed. I was given cookies this morning by one
of the 3 gals that I had interest in but I didn't think anything was
happening. Ya see, since X-mas break, I had pretty much broken off contact
with the gals. I would carry on conversations, but only if they initiated it
and I stopped going out of my way to visit, etc. Interesting, eh? Not
really, this is the gal that thinks that she doesn't need to date, because she
could do everything she wants to do with friends. I just have to remind
myself that there is nothing more to this than her wanting to give cookies to
a friend. Any other thoughts will lead me down that twisty path of "does she
or doesn't she" that I was on earlier, and I'm wise enough to not go there
again without a true indication of her intentions. Although a part of me just
doesn't want to deal with her any more and kindof hoped she would fade away
into memory. Shesh, I need to get some companionship going.
Anyways, I've been typing this for almost an hour in between some work and I
really should get to the gym. Blog entry brought to you by Alice in Chains
"No Excuses" and some free cookies.
Waiting a little while longer to leave this evening due to the idiocy on the
roadways with a little bit of snow on the ground. Roomie warned me the
intersections are slick and I'm hearing reports of traffic snarls now. May
end up skipping the gym.
Knight reinc still chugging along. Found that townsman and kings feast rock
hard for conduct rep. Got to the end of 3rd level of conduct rep today, so
that's 2 aspects down, 2 to go. Still waiting on Blayke to go and get me a
Hannes book to get the education aspect wrapped up. The valor aspect, ugh.
That is going slooooowly, but at least I now have a few mobs I can solo and
actually move the meter along a bit each day. At current pace, I'm weeks out
from lvl 2, *sigh*. But played with mounts a bit today, and found it
interesting with the smallish mobs I'm taking on. Got Fluffy the battle sheep
capped due to a crit. from a mob. Moved up to the rental mule from the
batcity stables. A little better, and can ride indoors even with out the prot
mount spell up. I'll have to putter with barding sometime to see if that
helps even more, same with saddle and bridle. All in good time.
I was offered a job back to my old work group today by my old manager. A year
ago I would have jumped at the chance, but now I'm fat, dumb, and happy in my
new role. Besides, that place is still a mess from the top down
administratively. Too bad, but they had their chance to keep me and they
didn't even bother to say good-bye. Decided I had better go to the gym
anyways, so heading out. Today's post brought to you by ice water and Belinda
Carlisle's "Heaven is a Place on Earth".
Let's see, found that alchemist and pharmacist are 2 other mobs that give
conduct now. Finally got level 2 of coduct completed, now just have lvl 3 to
complete to get 2 out of 4 of knight progress completed. Fortunately this is
a slow time at work for me so I have time to chase the townies around as they
reset. Secretly, I'm happy people kill them, so that the resets can possibly
give me more conduct. I still hate valor.
About ready to switch gears and work on ships and chest skills.
In other news, getting closer to making one of my new year's resolutions. Got
9 reps on my first set of 225 on the flat bench. I was pretty fresh since I
hadn't lifted for 4 days, so that certainly helped. Endurance still isn't
there for that weight, as I dropped down to 6 on the next set, and got 7 on
the final set. Still not making much headway with weight loss goal. Didn't
help that I ate far too much over Super Bowl weekend and picked a pound. 8(
Oh yeah, Seahawks got jobbed by the officials in between their receivers
dropping every farking catch. Went to a super bowl party over at a friends.
Nothing exciting, but better than sitting at home I suppose. Otherwise, I
didn't get much else accomplished.
Not much else to report in with. Going back to chasing townies around for
conduct. This entry brought to you by Dt. Cherry Dr. Pepper and my ever-anger
with knight's valor requirements.
Missed yesterday due to me tinking far too late into the evening with the new
reinc. I have mixed opinions about the reinc. I definitely miss having mana
control due to not having enough bard levels. And the knight quests are
rather....interesting. I'm slowly working towards getting three out of the
four guild aspects (rep) to minimum levels so I can train/study everything the
guild has to offer. I'm having a rough time trying to do the valor aspect of
the guild due to no capability of solo-tanking and not enough time to put a
party together. Also, waiting on a friend to whack for me Hannes so I can get
that tome to complete the knowledge aspect. Did the skills aspect yesterday.
Conduct is coming along slowly, a few more days and with some lucky resets of
batcity mobs, maybe I can max it (or get to another level). Knight offensive
skills pretty much blow for the dam/ep ratio. Only one worth a crap so far is
turnblade, and that only rocks vs larger mobs. Since I can't stun at will,
skullsplitter is useless. I haven't had enough conduct yet to try all of the
mount stuff, and I need valor to experiment with the defensive skills
Jury is still out on whether I will do a reinc back into civ. again for the
knight/cavalier/bard combo. I'll keep posting on what I discover. And I
still need to get cracking on the ship stuff and chest making stuff. I want
to make a 12 slotter for the first time this reinc. So, that's the goals for
this current reinc: figure out knights to see if I want to do another reinc,
figure out ship stuff, and do a 12 slot vault. Wish me luck!
So far, the townies that I found that give conduct: fortune teller, pedlar,
raconteur, nun, and wench if male and high cha. I'll keep posting if I figure
out any more.
Also did rustie last night in a 3 man party. Cleared my screwed up valor
(finally went positive for the first time). Of course, I lost that single
point later on the evening by still being in the party and killing a smallish
mob. Gah, I HATE this valor system. Puttered with take prisoner, and found
it to be annoying near useless even against tiny mobs. I tend to gash the
mobs to death long before mobs decide to surrender. Have I mentioned how much
I hate valor yet today?
Tomorrow, back to boring posts of my real life. Today's entry brought to you
by Taco John's Potato Oles and my hatred for valor in knight guild.
Drat, missed yesterday's blog due to late work in the lab. And with the extra
time built-up, I'll be leaving very soon from work for the weekend. No big
plans for the weekend. I'll be running back home to the farm again. Weather
isn't looking pleasant, but tolerable for working outside. I also need to
fill out one last tax form this weekend. Otherwise, I'll be back in town on
Sun. afternoon to attend a Super Bowl party. At least I got that change of
pace here at work, but Monday looks like back to doc. reading. *bleah* If
only this would happen in June so I can take time off with no fear of getting
behind upon my return. Life is one big "Murphy's Law". Feelin' sluggish,
maybe a nice nap and then time to decide if I want to drive back into work to
do my reinc. or start up a new video game. Time will tell, eh? Today's blog
brought to you by Red Rider's "Lunatic Fringe" and Kit Kat.
Ho hum, another slow day on the job front. Desparately debating with myself
if I should try to do a reinc while at work. I just need to remind myself
that this reinc is for fun and testing, not for xp and cash gain. In other
words, please don't ask me why I did this reinc, because even I think this
isn't such a good idea. Oh well, live and learn, tis too bad the reinc
penalty is so harsh. I'll be stuck in this reinc for 3 months due to xp
recovery penalty. *sigh* My luck, new locs will show up shortly after I
Appears I missed my blog entry yesterday. No big deal, yesterday is the same
as today as tomorrow. Nine Inch Nail's "Everday is the Same" seems oddly
appropriate for this week. Although there is talk about another evening out
for us guys at work at a local restaurant. So my social isn't complete dead
yet, just nearly dead. Hoom, trying to look busy is almost more work than
work itself. Doesn't help that my cubemate is always "peeking" at my monitor
when she pops in and out. So I have to constantly keep something workish
looking around. Fortunately, telnet window looks workish. *grin*
Not much else to ramble about, so I'll keep the entry short. Blog to you by
Kajagoogoo "Too Shy" and apple cinnamon muffins.
Taking advantage of a slow work day on a Monday morning to get my blog entry
in. I didn't get as much accomplished this weekend as I had planned.
Saturday had the rain come early and then it stayed around the entire day. I
guess I can't complain, because we could use the moisture. According to the
climatologists, our subsoil moisture is pretty low right now. So, instead of
working outside, I got my tax information ready to go. Sunday I went and
slogged through the muddy field picking up leftover blocks that the loggers
left behind from the most recent timber sale. Most of the wood was walnut (3
trailer loads) with a partial load of oak. Now I remember why I rather deal
with tops, as trunk blocks are heavy, especially when they are still green.
Fortunately, walnut is less dense than oak so it wasn't as heavy as it could
have been if they were all oak. I'll have to let those blocks sit for the
summer before I split them.
Then my brother and his girlfriend showed up an hour after I had finished my
work with the wood. I got my shearing for the winter season from my bro's
girlfriend. I think I'm down a half pound or at least it would appear so from
all of the brown with a dash of silver piles on the kitchen floor.
So not bad, got a few things accomplished this weekend. If the weather is
good next weekend, I should have more opportunity to work on the wood pile.
In other news, I'm bored at work today. It is one of those rare times where I
am completely out of work. I hate this situation, as I'm forced to charge
time on projects without making meaningful progress. It just goes against my
work ethic, but there is little I can do at the moment about it. So here I
sit, surfing and mudding. If it wasn't for the guilt, I'd be a happy man.
Got a headache going today. Must be the low pressure system in the area. One
of the genetic quirks I inherited from my Mom. Fortunately, I don't get the
frequency and severity of headaches that she gets, but I am definitely
susceptible to changing weather conditions. So yeah, it is going to be one of
those type of days for me.
Oh yeah, forgot to mention that I went ahead and beat Kingdom Hearts Friday
evening. Bleah, sucky ending for a game that I didn't exactly enjoy (see
earlier posting). Considering playing Growlancer Generations or X-men Legends
Still working on that home PC purchase. Still waiting for that "I can't pass
that up" type of deal. Worried I'll get sucked into WoW if I do get a home
machine though. Temptation is there, I can not deny. Well, at least I don't
have a hobby that is as expensive as dirt track racing. My brother was
constantly talking about this and that and price tags associated with each
selection. I guess a grand or 2 for a PC is chump change compared to that
hobby. Ah well, I had better wrap up the rambling for now. Entry brought to
you by Audioslave "Hypnotize" and Dt. Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper.
Fighting to stay awake this afternoon in spite of having put down too much
caffeinated pop already. Down to clock watching and surfing fark.com to kill
the rest of the afternoon. Still waiting on a coworker to get his test update
implemented so we can work towards a solution on the customer problem.
Starting to see what sort of computer I can buy at a reasonable price for home
use. If that happens, you'll be seeing a lot more of me in the evenings here
on Bat. Not sure if this is a Good Thing (tm), but what the hell.
Weekend plans are going to heavily depend on the weather. Talking rain
chances tomorrow, which is not good news. I wanted to work outside all
weekend getting closer to the end of the wood splitting job. I just hope the
rain holds off till the late afternoon so I can get one good day in. That way
I can lay around Sunday in pain instead. Also, got my W-2 form in the mail
this weekend, so I'll be working on the taxes. Here's to hoping I get a nice
Chatting with Boot today about politics and it made me realize just how
cynical I must sound about our political system here in the US. Not only have
I stopped caring, but it is now to the point that I'm amazed when anything
truly altruistic occurs due to govt. involvement. For every govt. decision
made, I try to figure how out some corporation or person is going to profit
that influenced the outcome. I feel bad for Boot, for she wants to fix the
system and make it work the way it was intended. And it is frustrating to her
that she has to overcome corruption on one side, and cynics like myself if
anything is to happen. I feel she is taking on the "impossible dream" of Don
Quioxte (sp?). Tilt a windmill for me! 8)
The way the last couple of days have been, I have to write when I have the
time available to me rather than when it is convenient. Last night at the
gym, I successfully used my introvert skills to avoid contact with a gal.
After meeting her a few times, I have realized that being around her causes me
more stress than the rewards of meeting the person. One of our conversations
drifted towards dating (she brought this up). Her opinion is that why should
she be dating anyone when she can do the same things with friends. And why
would anyone want to commit like that. Yeah, since that point and time, I've
been pretty much trying to avoid her without hurting feelings. Case in point,
some women are nuts, no 2 ways about it. Fortunately, I'm learning to
recognize these signs sooner and sooner.
I'm obviously too nice of a guy. I should be more of an ass and just be rude
a few times so I wouldn't have any further interaction. Like someone told me
one time, Roger, you think too much of what others think and think of you.
Indeed, it is true. But how do you undo 30+ years of personal philosophy?
One action at a time it would seem.
So I'm back to networking again. I may have a possibility or two come
spring/early summer. I also have a blind date potential in Minneapolis if I
want to deal with driving 5 hours in one direction. Other downside, she's a
smoker. Odds are low I'll take action on this one. At least my friend here
isn't pressuring me for an answer.
Ok, time to get back to work. Blog brought to you by Puddle of Mudd "Drift
and Die" and lukewarm tap water.
Not a lot of time tonight, and I missed last night too. Been busy in the labs
trying to reproduce an issue that a customer has found. Naturally, we can not
reproduce the problem in our labs. Throw in a flaky test system, and it adds
up to hours of frustration.
In other news, I'm happy to report that I've managed to drop off the weight I
picked up from the holidays. So, I'm back to where I was in November. Now, I
want to drop 7 more now to get to my first goal f for the year. Wish me luck!
Not much else to report for the day. Tonight's blog entry was brought to you
by Deep Purple's "Hush" and Dt. Dr. Pepper, it almost tastes like something
that isn't water.
Apparently I was negligent in getting my Friday's blog entry due to my anxiety
in hurrying out the door and home before the worst of the snow storm would
hit. We ended up with a couple of inches of snow from a storm that was
predicted to stay south of here. Oh well, just goes to show that even the
best computer models still aren't accurate enough when it comes to storm
tracks. Oh well, it wasn't a major storm unless you happen to live in the
Deep South, and then this would have been a "shutdown your state for 2 days"
type of storm.
I travelled back to the farm on Saturday in the morning in dense fog. Helped
Dad move the display cases and furniture back into their original positions
(mostly) to the best of our memories. Sat. evening church and then the
parental modules and I went down to Farley to attend a dirt track racers
dinner and awards banquet. Unfortunately we had to leave after the meal due
to Mom having to be up for work on Sun. by 5 am. So we missed my brother
receiving his plaque for his racing efforts from last season. Sunday was
overcast and cool due to all of the snow on the ground. I spent most of the
morning and part of the afternoon out splitting firewood. I'm loving the
adaptation Dad had done to the splitter to get the splitting beam to sit about
stomach level. Before, the beam was about knee-high, and we were constantly
getting lower back aches from having to stand bent over while working. Now, I
get to stand straight most of the time which moves the work from my lower back
to more into the middle of the back and shoulders. An AWESOME improvement!!!
The only downside is that chucking the firewood is now an overhand or sidearm
throw instead of a simple underhand toss. I'm feeling it today in my forearms
from all of the wood slinging. A few more weekends like the one I had and
I'll have the blocked pile split for drying. I may have to drag up another
set of logs for blocking and splitting as I fear I might not have enough for
this next winter for my parents and brother. I'll We'll see.
Current gripe of the day: US Post Offices still out of 2cent stamps. Good
Wrapping up a document today at work. Hours of entertainment as I update
requirements traceability. Ah, the sexy and glamourous work of an engineer.
If all goes well, tomorrow I shall be on to my next program. I get to pour
through ancient documentation and find out what we need to validate our new
system with the old requirements. Oh well, it still beats working at the old
job. More tomorrowy.
Amusing to watch people drive around the parking lot for the gym to get the
closest spot so they don't have to walk as far to go and exercise. If that
doesn't sum up American, I don't know what does.
Busy day out in the labs as we try to reproduce a customer issue. Naturally
we can not reproduce what the customer sees. Oh well, it is a charge number.
Lordy, I'm starting to sound more and more like Wally from Dilbert. At least
I'm not a coffee drinker, but don't cut me off from my Dt. Dr. Pepper!
Wish I could talk about all of the things we do here, but that's the problem
with working on govt. deliverable items, everything is either classified or
company proprietary. At least nothing I'm on is top secret so I can at least
talk with other team members.
Got a call last night from the parental modules. Apparently my brother got
some free tickets to a dinner banquet for the dirt track racers with whom my
brother races with. So, Sat. night I'll be getting a free meal. Looks like I
should be able to make it since the storm is now predicted to stay south of my
area. I'll be heading home to the farm this weekend to help Dad move in the
museum display cases that we moved out earlier in the month so new carpeting
could be laid. Throw in some firewood splitting and you'll pretty much have
my weekend plans in place.
And that's all I got tonight. Back for a finally Friday!!
Accidently missed my blogging session yesterday due to having an upswing in
the social life. A couple guys from work invited me to come and hang with
them at a local bar/restaurant for a few hours in the evening. Well, the
invite was to meet at 5pm, and I didn't wrap up work soon enough before having
to travel. I even skipped a workout evening too! And to make matters worse,
I had me a delicious chicken sandwich with homemade chips that was sure to add
a pound or 2 to me. A couple of hours of conversation and a meal later, and I
was back home. Nothing too exciting, but it was quite pleasant.
I've been noticing I have been regressing a bit with the social activities. I
constantly have to remind myself to not be too introverted and keep myself
involved. Maybe it is just the time of the year and lack of sunlight, who
knows. I'm just noting the signs, excuses for going out, avoiding making
contact, etc. I'll see about improving here in the coming weeks. But, at
least last night I made a step forwards again.
My heart goes out to ya Banba. I believe you when you say it is amicable, but
I'm sure there is pain there as well. I just wish the best for you bud!
Reinc idea pretty close to coming to fruition. Talking a snow storm coming to
Iowa this weekend which may give me a day to sneak in to work to use the free
internet. I shall suck harder than a civ_fighter-civ_mage reinc combo. Trust
me on this. At least I'll have some role playing, non-xp mongering fun for a
Going to do my blogging a bit early today since I have the free time and the
motivation. Weekend was good, I went down to Ames to visit my college bud and
his brother. I had a scare though on my trip. Just as I was pulling off the
exit, I heard this loud whirring sound coming from my front right side of the
truck. I pulled over and did confirm that something was amiss, but it was so
dark I couldn't see very to determine if there was an obvious problem. So, I
limped it to the friend's place and waited till the morning to investigate.
The next morning, the problem was still there, and I couldn't see anything
wrong. So, I jacked up the front end and could free spin the front tire and
reproduce the sound which was a clicking sound at lower speeds. Resigned to
getting it fixed, I called a local auto repair place and was lucky to get in
right away. By this time, I was thinking I would be spending a few extra days
in town till the truck was fixed and be out several hundred dollars. After 20
min., the repair tech came over and said that my push button 4x4 had started
to engage the four wheeled drive which was causing the sound. All he had to
do was fully engage the four wheeled drive, drive it a bit, then disengage
again, and the sound was gone. WHEW! And on top of that, they didn't charge
me a dime for their time. I hope and pray some good karma/blessings come
So after that, I was in a much better mood to enjoy my trip. We ended up
playing Gauntlet: Seven Sorrows for a few hours in multi-mode. A fun game,
but it isn't a very long game at all, not worth more than a rental really, and
not even that for single player mode. By the late afternoon, we loaded up and
went to our D-n-D session where I reprised my role of a druid-beastmaster (v.
3.5 rules) that I had created at the start of this ongoing campaign. Being
the imaginative feller that I am, I decided he would be the master of
squirrels and created for the character a large red squirrel familiar by the
name of Mr. Twitters. Well, that first night I played the character as odd as
I could, by having everyone in the party know that the familiar was guiding me
and was an all-powerful creature. After that session, the character went to
DM control, and he has since been running the gag by actually having the
familiar show in people's dreams and mysterious events happening when the
familiar comes in contact with the players. As of now, they fear the squirrel
as being a red dragon in disguise and paranoia runs rampant. So needless to
say, I had a fun time interacting with the players as we journey from a set of
caves to the ruins of Kendermore (post Chaos Wars Dragonlance setting). Not a
lot of battling except for a few random encounters and one of the kenders
decided to take the tower of high sorcery test to come out as a white robed
kender. A fine night overall.
Sunday morning, I zipped off to church. And since it is a college town, I was
enjoying all of the lovely scenery that was attending. Man, I sure do miss
that aspect of college life. Afterwards, we did lunch and then traded some
video games (whee! more stuff on the stack to play) and then we parted ways
while there was some daylight to burn (in case I would have another episode
with the truck). The journey home was uneventful, and I even saw 2 farmers
out chisel plowing because the frost was out of the ground already in Jan. A
rare event indeed. Called the parental modules, did some laundry, and caught
the first 2 hours of 24 (really liking this season start so far). And that is
my weekend in a nutshell. And then, I'm in the cube today at work. 8(
Doh, almost forgot to do my 10 min. of creative writing today. I was forced
to miss yesterday due to the downtime of the Bat server. Heh, 30 min.
downtime turned into several hours in a hurry.
Durnit, I need to write down my "blog topics" so I don't forget what the heck
they were when it comes to write them. Otherwise, this entry is going to turn
into one long ramble about nothing, sort of like most network tv. shows these
days. Anyways, weekend plans are set, and I'll be heading down to Ames to
visit the buddies. Sadly, I'm already getting spring fever and it isn't even
Feb. Today's weather was sunny and almost 50 degrees, which is a nice March
day. I think the grass is even starting to green a little. Jan. weather can
be such a tease sometimes.
Some nasty cold bug is making the rounds here at work. I'm hoping it skips
me, or at least waits till after this weekend. I don't mind being sick at
work, but darn it, I don't want to be sick on my time off. *grin*
Hmm...appears I may need to write a bit earlier in the day. Pretty silly to
be drawing a complete blank. Guess I'll just have to write about what I did
at work today. Today's duties entailed running a series of 1 hour tests and
taking data at each hour. During the runs, I'm at my desk doing analysis of
the test data into a report that no one will ever read. All the managers care
about is the final "did it pass or not", the report is there so process is
met. Remember kids, engineering is 75% paperwork, especially if you work on
government or aerospace projects. A few status updates and that's my work day
in a nutshell. Of course, I don't mention the intermittent web surf to keep
my eyes open.
Since I have enough time in for the week, I'll be leaving around noon for the
weekend. So, I may or may not blog tomorrow depending on my time
availability. Well, not exactly my best work, but then they all can't be
Pulitzer material. *grin* Till the next entry. --Roger **
Time for the daily bloggin'. Really enjoying the fact that most of the snow
is gone and the days are warming above freezing now. I'm sure that we'll pay
for it with ice storms in March or a month of rain in April. I'm even looking
forward to a free weekend to get out of town to visit an old college buddy of
mine that lives a few hours away. I predicate much video games, D-n-D, and
pizza in my immediate future.
Been reading through fark.com for my daily news. Sad isn't it, that I get a
more reliable news source via a slightly satirical web site than I can ever
get with CNN or Fox news. The most fun debates occur when the Iraq war or
anything religious (usually Christian) gets a headline. At least these type
of sites make me think as opposed to the usual 'sanitized for your reading
pleasure' articles in the news sites.
Been going to the gym later and later the last few weeks due to the huge
influx of the new year's resolutioners flooding the early evenings. It is fun
to watch the cycle, as the crowds reduce within the month, and by April, it is
less than half from what it was it is in Jan. At least the scenery is much
improved for a short while. So, there's the silver lining. ,)
Watched the ISU men's basketball team suck it in the 2nd half of the Texas
game last night. The team is a year away from being in the next level. I
just wished they would have had played hard and lost rather than losing their
composure and getting blown out.
And on that note, that's 10! I need to shut down the testing and then head
out to the gym. C-ya.
Motivation at work has now drifted pretty low. Tired and starting to make
mistakes is a good time to stop and work on my 10 min. blog entry. As pointed
out this morning, next holiday on our work calendar isn't until April (Good
Friday), say hello to 3 full months of 5 day work weeks. At least the weather
has finally decided to show the sun once again. We had almost 2 weeks of
straight clouds and fog. I don't know how the people out in Seattle can stand
weather like that all the time. Not hard to wonder why grunge music came out
of that area.
Today's fun time at work involved me getting all of the .dll files ready for a
release. See Roger recompile, update comments, update copyrights, bore, bore,
bore. Well, at least the process is relatively smooth all things considered.
Prolly another day of this yet as I have to tweak the build scripts yet.
Fortunately, the work machine I'm on has telnet access and a working CD
player. Hooray for small miracles!
No deep thoughts, but some deep hurting from yesterday's weight lifting
session at the gym. Decided to be "smart" and see how much weight I can do on
the hip sled. I got 3 sets of 10 with 7 45lb plates on a side up with some
effort. Today, I can barely get out of my chair as my legs are stiff from the
exercise. Brilliant. I'm tempted to try 8 plates next time I get a free
Sunday afternoon. I still haven't found my max., I just know I'll hurt a lot
the next day.
Listening to the Rolling Stones Greatest Hits, cd #1 as I'm writing this.
Jumping Jack Flash is keeping me company today. The song reminds me of that
silly 80's movie with Whoopie Goldberg as a data entry clerk that helps out an
international spy who uses the song as his password "key". Not much else to
report, and thankfully my 10 min. are up today. See, mindless ramblings as I
noted it would be yesteday! See ya!
Well, I managed to procrastinate another weekend away without reincing. I had
a couple of opportunities, but I decided I would rather take a nice afternoon
nap than dealing with a reinc. But fear not, I will soon be undergoing that
tortorous process to a silly civ. reinc I've been plotting out for a while
now. I keep hoping for a freebie reinc if the new loc guild ever gets into
Otherwise, I thought I would take a crack at the 10 min. blogging routine.
Usually when I blog here, it has been more of a documentation process of what
happened in the time period since the previous entry or when I feel a bit
over-emotional (emo ya'all) and need to get it out of my system. A nice
little release, like screaming where no one can hear you. So, I read a couple
places that 10 min. a day goals for blogs just to be free-form and I thought,
hey, I can do that. You'll have to forgive my conversational English these
posts will take, as it is easier to type how I think rather than put it into
something that wouldn't flunk me out of basic English 101.
Observation of the day, have you ever noticed how old people drive slowly by a
cemetary? I'm not looking forward to the time when I'll be confronting my
imminent mortality. The other thought that popped into my head the other day,
it is sad how adulthood has taken away from my enjoyment of my free time. I
keep thinking "I should be doing something more important than this". As a
child, those thoughts never crossed my mind as I went outside and just did
nothing of importance. I just need to let go a little.
Getting close to beating "Kingdom Hearts" on the PS2 (see previous note about
free time). I'm pretty disappointed with the game based on the reviews I saw
when this game came out. Control is with the analog stick only, so my thumb
cramps running around, and the camera is a bigger opponent than the monsters.
The boss battles are weak, so far my winning strategy is let my AI controlled
partners Goofy and Donald Duck go and whack while I hide away and heal, or
rush in while the boss is grinding up my partners and do damage. One of the
few games I'm rushing through to end rather than explore and enjoy. Next game
up, X-men Legends. I'm avoiding playing a couple of the long RPG's (Xenosaga,
Aetelier Iris, Suikoden) until I get some of the "faster" titles out of the
way I have picked up used lately.
Ok, time's up for the day. Say, this isn't so bad. Since no one but Boot and
Anastasia and Banba (as far as I know) read my blogs, hope you don't my blog
experiment. I have a feeling these entries won't be too "insightful" for the
most part, but at least it is regen fodder. --Roger
Dear blog, so it has been another month since I've written to you. Such a
shame. I really do need to do a better job in keeping you in my thoughts.
Anyways, Xmas has come and passed. The family was able to make it over and
everyone was in good spirits, even my little brother which is unusual for him.
For whatever reason, Christmas is a hard time of the year for him. It was my
turn to host (we rotate 3 family holidays amongst we 3 kids and my parents)
and fortunately Ma and Pa DeShaw were more than happy to help out their
bachelor son in the cooking department. Cooking just isn't in my genes. I
made out with a couple of shirts, some holiday spending cash, and a scope for
my shotgun. I had given Dad the same model last year and really liked it, so
he got one for me this year. It is the gun I use for the annual shotgun deer
season hunt which was the first weekend in Dec.
Speaking of that deer hunt, our hunting party did quite well, as we filled out
most of the tags with bucks and only a couple of doe. I got several shots in,
but no confirmed kills. Dad got a pair of bucks, with one being a nice 10
pointer. Since my Dad and I hunt with landowner's licenses, we can't go off
our land to hunt with the rest of the party. So, after our timber was hunted,
we went back to drag the deer out of the timber for processing. Dad, my
brother, and I were riding back to drag out a deer, we look into the timber
from the ten-year field and see a buck standing there looking back at us. We
stop, the buck doesn't move, my brother proceeds to get out, get his gun out
of the case, load 2 shells, and get around the truck before the deer decides
to run. My brother takes a lucky shot and hits the deer underneath as it is
running away and kills it with the one shot. So, it was a good hunt,
until...Sunday morning after we pushed the timber again. My brother, Dad, and
I went back out to drag out a buck Dad got, while we were told the rest of the
party would keep hunting. Turns out, the group decided to quit hunting and
took the annual hunting photo and divided up the deer without us. All of us
were aggravated to varying degrees with that behavior. So we may not be
hunting with that party next year if that is how they are going to treat us.
I just checked and my promotion is official. Whee! So now I'll get to sit at
this level for prolly another 5 years. Just gotta grind away. The start of
the new year should be slow here at the office. I'm just worried there is
going to be another huge wave of work coming my way in the late spring when
I'd really rather be low on work and outside enjoying the weather. Speaking
of weather, we've been in a thaw of late. Dad heard an old weather saying
that if you get your winter in December, Jan. and Feb. will be mild. Well, so
far that is holding true. We had subzero temps and almost a foot of snow the
first 3 weeks in Dec. and now it is slowly melting down.
No big plans yet for New Year's eve. I'm thinking a few of us will go and
watch a local band play and wait for midnight to strike. In honor of the
tradition, I'll blog up my resolutions for the new year of '06. For my gym
goals: keep working on my bench at 235 lb., currently at 7/5/3 reps for my
lifting set, want to get to 10/8/6 reps. Next gym goal: get back to 190 (lose
10, 5 of which I picked up the last 2 weeks due to holiday eating *blush*) and
maintain. Next gym goal: instead of walking 3+ miles, jogging it instead, if
my knees don't complain too much. Final gym goal: keep hitting the abs class
2x a week. Just started a 15 min. ab class, and my word, I suck at it.
Let's see, non-gym goals: get on a date (realistic), have a girlfriend/be in a
relationship (shooting the moon). Goal: get my ass out to DC to hang with
Henry and Chris for a few days. I know, I've been promising, and I need to
deliver! Final goal: keep building the kingdom in my little way with a lot
of help from the Big Guy.
Ok, one more goal, be a bit more active in the blog. Without a computer at
home, it is hard for me find time and the creative workings at the same to
promise a routine of blogging here at work. But I'll try, I'll try! Have a
Happy New Year's '06 all!
Wouldn't it be good to be in your shoes, even if it was for one day. Wouldn't
it be good if we could wish ourselves away. Wouldn't it be good to be on your
side, the grass is greener over there. Wouldn't it be good if we could live
without a care. "Wouldn't It Be Good" Nik Kershaw
Dear blog, I'm feeling a bit wistful this morning. The holidays tend to do
this to me. A time for reflection on the year that was, and the year that
will be. Of course my thoughts drift on to my love life or lack thereof as
the case stands. I had mentioned in my previous entries, that I had 3
different women of varying degrees of interest. Well, so far, nothing has
progressed beyond friendship for any of the 3. One gal, things wouldn't work,
as she tends to have this negative personality that tires me after 15 minutes
of conversation. Another gal, who is much more happy hasn't been showing any
signs of interest in me in "that way". The 3rd gal is turning out to be a
strange case indeed. She runs hot and coldin terms of affection towards me.
I thought she was seeing another guy, yet I'm not sure. Thankfully, I have
come to understand her well enough to know that I don't need to be involved
with her beyond friends. It would seem our theological beliefs are
fundamentally different enough, that it would not work out between us. I
respect her faith, but I have a feeling it would be a source of contention
later in a relationship. We are very, very similar though in many ways, and I
know how I would feel in this matter, and I'm assuming she would be the same.
So, that leaves me about where I started this year, single and looking once
again. Single life wouldn't be bad if there this damn clock that is ticking
against me. It is the despair that creeps in now and again. The despair that
I may never find anyone to share my life with, someone to build a family with.
I'm in my 30's now, and I wonder if it is too late for me. Do I give up my
hopes and resign myself to this life the way it is? It would certainly ease
some of life's pain, but then there would be a different emptiness that would
resign itself in my heart. Fear not dear blog, I shall keep the hope and
dream alive for a while longer, for I do not quit that easily. But with that
dream, sister despair will also be a companion to me. And it is that despair
that tends to grip me this time of the year as I am flooded by media images of
family and such. Such is my cross, so must I bear it. At least I have this
means of reducing the load a little with my writings.
So now I shall move ever onwards. Work at least has been moderately
rewarding, even though I've been pretty busy the past weeks. My hard work is
paying off, as I have been told unofficially that I will be getting a
promotion at the end of the year. And I should have a few days off for
Thanksgiving holiday this coming weekend. The only thing I have on my
schedule is going to my brother's place on Thur. for the meal. If the weather
cooperates, I should get a few days in out in either the woodpile or the
timber. Otherwise, I may come back and get some more time here in at work so
I can get closer to the end of this workload.
Ugh, X-mas is almost a month away. The pain, the suffering, the shopping ,
the gift ideas that I don't have yet. *moan* I hate this time of the year.
Dearest blog, it would appear that I've ignored you once again. Work has been
killer busy once again. In fact, I have not been back home to the farm since
harvest wrapped up back in October. Speaking of harvest, this year's crop was
one of the better ones we had. And I even got to drive the combine for a
round for the first time in my life. WhEEE! The fall chisel plowing went
pretty smoothly, as the ground was in good condition (not too dry or wet) for
plowing. So, the timing of the work upswing is convenient enough to avoid the
harvest. And naturally, I get a phone call, so I'm goin g to cut this blog
entry short. Hopefully, more to come soon.
Dearest blog, I hadn't realized that over a month had passed since my last
blog entry. Time sure flies when you are busy at work. Well, there has been
another distraction lately that has come into my life, but I'll discuss that
later. So let's see, what has been happening in the last few weeks. I
managed to take a 3 day weekend for myself over Labor Day weekend. I did not
go into work, or back to the farm. I managed to get several loads of laundry,
the bedding washed, several hour of video games, and dug out the bike and
found a nice 3 mile trail that runs a few blocks from where I live. My roomie
and I found a map of the local trails, and we kept following a trail and were
confused why the trail ran along the back streets. After 30 minutes, I looked
at the map legend and found we were riding along a "future" trail that had not
be built yet. Amazing, after not riding a bike for over a year, my legs held
up very well, just some pain in my lower back and incredible soreness in the
Other news, my sister is being a complete f'ing idiot with her life. She has
decided that she wants to run around with her "friends" from work. Said
friends turns out to be single and married guys that she goes and hangs out on
the weekends with and doesn't invite her husband along with. I truly feel
sorry for my bro-in-law and my nieces and nephews, as their mother wants to be
selfish with her need to be "free". My bro-in-law tried to bring her into
marriage counseling, and my sister disagreed with what the counselor said in
the first session, and refuses to go back. She has even moved out of the
house now, which now forces the children to get shuttle back and forth between
the farm and her apartment in town. What a mess. Dad is ready to cut her out
of the will, and Mom, well, Mom wants her to get professional help. The sad
part, this is the very thing that broke up her first marriage, this need to
take off and lose her family responsibilities. I don't understand this, but
then I've always been a responsible one. Just a bad deal for all involved.
We'll be watching to see how this is going to affect the children. I'm
worried about my oldest niece, as she is now 13 and has been seen a lot of
instability in her life due to my sister's actions.
Now for that other distraction in my life that I mentioned earlier. I can't
explain how it happened, but all of a sudden I now have 3 single females in my
life being "friendly" to me. I go for years without this happening, and now
all of a sudden I have 3 at the same time? It is like some cosmic switch got
pulled. And I'm already taking abuse from some of my friends as some of my
karma is slowly being returned after all the years of my abuse. So far, I've
received cookies from 2, and the other one invites me for walks. I'm afraid
I'm in over my head here. So for now, I'm going to slow play and see where
this goes. Life is definitely taking a turn for the strange.
Question dear blog, for a guy, is having your body type described by a woman
as "curvy" a good thing? Hoom!
Dear blog, it appears that life lately has been taking a turn for the dramatic
of late. I intended to talk about the previous weekend before this one, but
work has been killer. So, this Sunday evening, I decided to get the past two
weekends out of my mind and into the blog so I can move on. Silly enough,
after dramatic (ok, slightly dramatic, out of the norm moments) events, I try
and reflect on what happened, and then figure out how to blog it as part of my
reflection. It seems to help out with the process.
Anyways, the previous weekend, I found out that Dad is proceeding with plans
to give up farming. What this will entail, next year will be the last year he
will plant crops. The following year he will sell the farm equipment due to
income tax reasons. So this is an end of an era in my life, as one of the
constants in my life has always been the farm and the farming. Unfortunately,
with the current state of agricultural business, I can't even come close to
justify financially taking over the business side of the farm. I can come out
nearly even with the farm payments if I rent out the land to another versus
paying for the payment of the farm and the costs to put a crop into the ground
and harvest costs. It is a shame, and I'm pretty blue that economics will end
a tradition. I always intended to take over farming when I retired as an
engineer. However, it would appear that when that time comes, I'll have to
buy different equipment and try to learn everything over. It seems eerie that
this is the year we lose the 630 Johnny to a fire, and now this decision to
sell-off most of the rest of the biz. and equipment. As King would say, the
world is moving on.
Then this past weekend, I'm still expecting further fall-out (and probably
another blog entry). Friday night, I went out with my friends and their girl
friends/wife to a local live concert in a park. It was a warm night, low 90's
plus humidity. So, one of my friend's girl friend decided she was going to
"help me". I can't even remember how the conversation got started, but she
started doing a "female eye for the straight guy" thing. With no surprise, I
was completely out of style with just about everything I wore. The only thing
that passed was my sun glasses and sideburns. Shirt, watch, belt, pants, and
shoes were all "wrong". Heck, even my little chain and Catholic medals caught
some criticism (needed cleaning) as she caught sight of them under my t-shirt
and pulled them out for examination. Damn, I'm just glad I didn't have to
strip down for an underwear inspection. Naturally, I took it all in stride.
I know I'm about 20 years out of fashion, I'm just waiting for what I wear to
come back into style again is all. 8) Anyways, she tried to work on me to go
shopping with her to pick up a pair of boot cut jeans rather than my old
tapered blue jeans. After I kept deflecting her requests, she then found a
gal standing nearby with a pair of friends, with whom she inquired if I'd look
better in boot cut. Of course, the other female agreed, (it is a conspiracy!)
and her friends jumped into the conversation. I quickly earned a new
nickname, boot cut. Fortunately, the concert was ending, and we headed to a
Along the way to the bar, the local gay bar was handing out free admission and
free beer coupons, which my friends eagerly grabbed up. Unfortunately, for
me, by this time, my right contact decided it was time for it to tear. So
keep in mind the rest of the evening, my right eye was watering and in pain.
And since I was the designated driver, I had to keep the contact in so I could
drive everyone home. So, after a short stop at our intended bar, everyone but
me wanted to check out the gay bar. Since I was out-voted and got
half-dragged by the girlfriends, the gay bar was our next destination. It was
pretty empty, as it was still early in the evening. What was interesting, the
bar was a converted Chinese restaurant, aptly named the Dragon. The back half
of the restaurant was a dance club room with a DJ and a balcony with tables.
Well, two of my friends naturally ditch their girlfriends and head upstairs,
leaving me and one other guy with 4 women. Well, naturally I became their
favorite target and they decided they just HAD to get me out on the dance
floor. I tried to reason with them that I'm an old white guy, I don't dance,
and especially not to dance music. Apparently, using logic doesn't work when
women want something (this is the theme for my night evidently). So, two of
them try to pull me out, and this time I tried to put my foot down, literally.
Since I work out, I'm pretty strong, and they couldn't move me out there.
Unfortunately, one of them figured out that I'm ticklish, and well, I ended up
on the dance floor. Fortune smiled, as no one but our group was in the dance
section at the time, so I was only embarassed publicly with our group.
According to my new dance instructor, dancing is only about moving your butt
and hips to a beat. What she didn't realize, was that when someone is
self-conscious, they tend to stiffen up, ie, my knees and ankles weren't going
to unlock. So after 10 minutes of her having fun trying to teach me to move,
I managed to convince her I wanted to sit back down.
Fast forward an hour later, by this time, the smoke in the room was now
driving the pain in my right eye to new levels of pain by the minute. This
was the time a gal sitting behind me at the next table decided to ask me to
dance. Unfortunately for her, I wasn't in any mood to dance. So, I tried to
explain my contact was killing me and that I didn't want to dance. After
denying a half-dozen requests of "c'mon, let's go dance", suddenly she gets
pissed at me. I am now getting hit with "what, I'm not good enough for you?"
"are you gay?"inquiries. Ever the gentlemen, I don't take the loaded
questions and just respond that I don't want to dance. Well, that doesn't
work, she then begins to rub my thigh with her hand and demands that I prove
to her that I'm not gay. Alright, by this time, I'm getting freaked out.
Just at this moment, my friends and their girlfriends decide to come off the
dance floor and intervene. Only, they don't help me out, they decide they
need to help out this chick. Suddenly, the gals are explaining that I'm very,
very shy. The guys are just eating this up, and jump in to badger me on the
other side of the table. The gals decide that they need to force-drag me out
on the floor, and that was the point I got pissed. Luckily, one of the gals
saw my expression change and called off everyone. Well, that was enough for
the chick, who headed out to the floor with a friend. I managed to quickly
remind everyone that they are hungry, and we took off before the chick could
return. So, I drove everyone through a drive-thru and then home. Already,
I've had to play phone machine tag with one of the gals, who was apologizing
for her behavior. Hopefully, I managed to reassure her that I'm not mad, just
forget about it. We'll see how this turns out. *sigh*
The inner reflection, has me gaining a new appreciation for women. I can only
imagine their suffering dealing with aggressive men with whom they don't want
to deal with. Meanwhile, I'm still learning that I don't handle this whole
male-female interaction thing very well. I have a feeling it is going to take
a very patient woman to get me capable of dating. It seems over-the-top
aggression isn't going to work, not without some level of trust on my part
first. Of course, challenging my ego by inquiring if I'm gay really doesn't
help either. It is nights like those that make me wonder if I'm really better
off staying single. I just can't justify putting my heart on a sleeve and
blindly putting trust in another. My question is, dear blog, how is it that
others can and are able to do so? I'll ponder this one on the drive home.
Dearest blog, I finally have some spare time at work to catch you up on the
last two weeks of my life. Work has been extremely busy, and has been pretty
taxing of my time and energies. Even after a 3 day 4th of July weekend, where
I had done little more than rest and play video games for a few days, I'm
still having trouble staying energetic at the end of the day. Unfortunately,
the 4th fell on a Monday this year, and since we had to work on Tuesday, no
one felt like going out to watch the fireworks show. Ah well, I didn't feel
like driving in that snarl of traffic anyways, since I was the only sober
person at Wade's. So the 4th was fairly bland, but the prior weekend was a
bit more interesting. That was my 15th year class reunion.
Let me start off by saying I had a blast! It was really good to catch up with
several people I hadn't seen in 5 or 10 or 15 years. We managed to have about
half of my graduating class (58 graduating) show up for the reunion. Just
like the line out Grosse Point Blank, "everyone looked bloated". I was
greatly surprised at how many guys had lost most of their hair already. I
never considered myself "popular" in high school, but I sure felt that way
during the evening. Everyone was quite warm and enthusiastic when greeting
with me. Evidently, being single and male at my "advanced" age prompted the
"Are you gay question?" , twice in the evening. I reassured them, that no, I
wasn't gay, I just had a busy life so far that kept me from getting married at
18. ,) The other fun response was hearing from a couple gals that if they
weren't married already, they would be dating me yet that night. *laugh*
Evidently, I was the "one that got away" in some of their books. The strange
part of the evening was having one gal who had her live-in-boyfriend there at
the reunion, come over and blatantly hit on me, trying to kiss my neck and
hold my hand, etc. I'm just not used to having a situation like that happen.
I remained the perfect gentleman and did not encourage her affections and
remained polite. Fortunately for me, she got so drunk an hour or so later,
that she was eventually driven home with her passed out boyfriend by a
Mental note: in 5 years for the 20 year reunion, if I don't have a date/wife,
I'm going to hire a hot 20 year old to show up as my date, and then taunt a
few of the guys that "my date was still a fetus when we graduated!". Ah yes,
I am quite evil. So again, it was a fun, a little bizarre evening with my old
high school buds. What was so sad was that most everyone had gone home by
9pm. I guess you can't be young forever. I hate to even admit this dear
blog, but it was a bit of an ego boost receiving so many compliments that
evening from so many. Who knew? I guess the opinions of the people you grow
up with for 12 years+ really do matter some. Live and learn!
So this coming weekend, it will be around 90 degrees, humid, and I'll be out
picking this year's blackberry crop out of the timber. Not exactly looking
forward to it this year for some reason, but that should change once I get out
there and get picking. Just hoping I don't get chewed up too much by the
brush and bugs. Also, Mom's birthday is on Monday, so I'm sure we'll do a
little something for her as well this weekend. The following weekend will be
the Delaware County Fair, and that should be my last "committed" weekend until
my Dad's birthday weekend which will come in August.
I had better wrap up and get back to work. Laters blog!
Dear blog, today I want to mention how blue I am today. Yesterday, I was out
cultivating the field over by the cemetary, when I was heading down the hill
after turn on the end row, I looked over on the right side and saw flames
coming off the manifold of the 630 John Deere. I immediately stopped her and
killed the engine and jumped off and grabbed the water jug. I threw the water
on, but I saw gas dripping off the tank back onto the engine. Since I had
been running all afternoon, the engine was hot enough to ignite the further
drips coming off. I tried to chuck dirt to try to extinguish the flames, but
I couldn't stay ahead of the flames. Soon, the front half of the tractor was
engulfed. Dad came out with a fire extinguisher, but even that wasn't enough.
We had the local fire department come out, but by then, the tractor was a
total loss. So, I'm pretty sad that we lost my favorite tractor that I grew
up with. For some people, it is a pet, for me, it was that tractor. What can
I say, I'm a bit strange that way. I almost cried, although inside, I think I
did a little. Even Dad was a bit blue too. So, to finish up the cultivating,
Dad is going to borrow a rear mount for one of our other tractors from a
neighbor. I'll see about getting a couple days off later this week to help
finish the cultivating. *sigh* Just a heavy heart when I think of all the
good times I had on the tractor and my little dreams for it in the future. **
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to me. Gotta love June 9th!
So here's another peak inside of my brain. I was bored last night while
waiting for the latest build to get delivered for testing, so I took one of
the online Myers-Briggs Jungian personality exams. And I appear to be an
ISTJ. Just thought you would like to know my dear blog. And now, I shall
wander off soon to catch a free concert in the park on this wonderful June
evening. Afterthought, after looking at google descriptions, it appears
the personality exam was pretty accurate. How strange it is to be so easily
Well my dear blog, the corn has been planted. Naturally, we start getting
snow showers the following day around here. Weather has been unusually cool
this year. We had a week of above normal temps, and then the last 2 weeks
have been having nightly frosts and hard freezes. The oats are up, and the
cold isn't bothering them. However, the leaves on the alfalfa are curling up
and we are worried the newly germinated alfalfa may be killed off due to the
weather. I guess we'll know more in a few weeks when the warmer weather
finally arrives. The morel season has been very poor due to the unusually
cool temps as well. So far, all of our good spots have turned out empty with
the majority of our finds have been out in the open, such as pastures, on the
west or south sides of the timber. Mostly the little grey types so far, and
the poor things even have frostbite too. Hopefully the warmer weather this
weekend will bring things along so that the yellows will now start to show up
and the better spots will start to produce. I'm also worried that the apple
crop will be quite poor as the apple trees are trying to blossom in this
weather. I guess we are fortunate, as some farmers in southern Iowa already
have corn that has germinated, and last night's weather went below the
freezing mark again. I have a feeling their yields will get hurt as the corn
will be stunted or even die off due to the cold.
Planting went well in spite of our largest tractor going down due to a leak in
the braking system. I ended up having to use a smaller horsepowered tractor
to run the field finisher. It wasn't so bad, but the seat in that tractor is
shot, so every bounce I felt with my butt. Not to mention I had to travel
approx. 3.5 mph instead of the usual 5. Fortunately, we got the 4440 John
Deere fixed in time for our wettest field, where I needed the additional
horses to pull through the wet spots. Otherwise, I would have been stuck or
had to avoid the spots entirely.
In other news, I changed jobs last week. I'm back in the HF Radio programs
again. I'll be doing verification duties like before, and also I will be
learning and coding the radio software this time around as well! I sure don't
miss the stress from my old job. It is nice not being responsible for the JSF
program any longer. I'm sure in time I'll acquire the levels of
responsibility I had in my previous job, but for now I'm enjoying being just
the new guy. Well, speaking of the job, I had better get back to it. Ciao!
Going to the farm to plant corn starting Thur. 4/28-5/2 at latest. See ya
Well Blog, appears I didn't do so well in my new year's resolution to keep you
up to date at all. I've been pretty busy the last two months after the
aforementioned re-org at work. I ended up staying on the same team, however I
did manage to lose the deadweight programmer and picked up another good guy.
Afterwards, my guys and I have been furiously attempting to make the delivery
deadlines. We have made excellent progress and everyone appears to be happy
with our work. Then, my team lead wanted to take a 4 week vacation, so I am
now currently doing his job and mine. On top of all of that, our contracter
dropped a bombshell on us and cancelled two of our product lines, so we are
still scrambling to recover from that.
I even decided to take my fate into my own hands and decided to take a job
outside of the test engineering department. I'll be going back into HF
Products as a programmer as well as tester. I wasn't happy with being stuck
being a PE all the time, and this provided me new programming challenges. I
get to maintain legacy radio software applications, which means I get to pick
up real time embedded experience in Ada. My transfer to the other department
will be on April 23rd. It is always interesting how free people are with the
compliments once they find out you are leaving. Amazing, if they had shown
half this interest in me when I was working for them, I would never had been
searching outside the group.
Spring is finally coming around to Iowa. The grass is now starting to show
green again, and the trees are budding, but haven't leafed out. The robins
and black birds have returned as well. Soon Dad and I will be putting in this
year's oat crop. At the end of April we will put in the corn crop for the
year. For some reason, I'm really looking forward to spring arriving. The
winter wasn't particularly bad around here, I just have this inner longing for
Otherwise, not much has been happening with me. Easter was pretty quiet,
spent it with the family once again. The prior weekend, I drove through snow
and icy roads to help my sister out by babysitting for a couple hours while
her other sitter was unavailable. At least my youngest niece is now old
enough that taking care of her isn't a big deal. Hmm...appears work is
calling, so I have to return. We'll see if I can wiggle some more blog time
with the new job change in the coming weeks.
Sorry blog for ignoring you for nearly two months. I can't say that life has
been all the exciting in those pair of months. The holidays have come and
went and with it all the hustle and bustle of meeting, greeting, shopping, and
eating. I spent my free time over the weekends and holidays working with the
firewood again. I think my parents are set for firewood for at least another
year or 2 now. We got almost a foot of snow last week, so my weekend firewood
gatherings are done till we get a thaw. So instead of going home to the farm,
I spend the weekend here at work. Go figure, I don't have a life.
Everyone important in my life is well and good coming into the new year.
Speaking of New Years, I spent the eve at home and in bed by 9pm with a
fantastic sinus cold that I'm still suffering with over a week later. Looking
back, shotgun deer season was a success as both Dad and I got ourselves a pair
of doe. Damn deer are as thick as rats now in the Iowa timbers. We did our
best to thin the herds, but I'm afraid the population is getting overly large
I still haven't changed jobs yet here at work. I'm still the software lead
and still taking all the abuse. Still have to put up with the old timer
programmer that sucks down my funding and produces little else but carbon
dioxide. No power to change the way things are, got to deal with cards I'm
dealt with this team. At least my other programmer is kicking ass and taking
names. Only wish I could clone him, I'd be set. Just had our department
"state of the union" meeting on Friday. Which, as I had anticipated,
contained our new re-org announcement. Early next week, I'll find out if I'll
be on another team, or if I'll have new people to wrangle. My intuition tells
me that myself and my team won't be changing, but there is a chance I could be
drafted into another team. I'm desired for 3 out of the 5 teams in the
department, so we'll see where fate takes me.
I got 2 new year's resolutions, one of which is a carry-over from last year.
I don't give up on them if I don't make them in the year I make the
resolution. 'll look ahead in the year and see my 15 year class reunion is
coming up. We'll see if more than half the class (30 people) show up this
year. I'm curious how a few of my 'mates are coming that I can't track down
any more. I also get to celebrate my 10th year anniversary of my graduation
from college. Fortunately, a group of us got together earlier last year to
Well blog, maybe I'll make a 3rd resolution and try to be a bit more active
with you. I may just take the risk and make it even more personal as I doubt
any one else besides myself looks at these entries any longer. And, I resolve
to retire the running "shoutout" liner as well. So at least I'll make
resolution this year. }8)
http://www.megatokyo.com/index.php?strip_id=627 Piro and I think so very much
Been a while since I've updated this blog. Pretty sad that I have to stay
late after hours here at work to ever get the time to even type in a few lines
into the old blog. Lately, I've been off fighting a battle with a top level
sell-off station. I hacked in some quick software fixes so production can
sell-off units, meanwhile I've been helping the hardware guys to track down
where the intermittency may lie at. Hopefully this next week, we can nail the
problem down and fix it so I don't have to worry that the station will be dead
soon. That would bring some serious high level manglement wrath down upon my
I'm still trying to find a way back to doing programming at work again. My
role currently seems to be drifting more and more to leadership roles. I
don't mind it when I have good people to work with, but with the recent
departures, I'm stuck with a lot of question marks and dregs. I don't mind
mentoring the noobs, but having to hand-hold a 60+ year old engineer who has
been around 25 years is driving me nuts. All I get is complaints on how he
can't do anything without someone showing him how to do something simple.
Zero initiative and it pisses me off this guy is earning muchos more than me,
and I have to carry his ass. Life ain't fair.
Fall has been wonderful here in Iowa. Beautiful colors on the trees, and a
rare warm and dry October. Dad and I have already gotten the fall corn
harvest completed. Right now we are wrapping up the last of the fall chisel
plowing of the fields. After this, farming drops off to me doing more
firewood gathering, if my weekends allow me the time. Speaking of weekends, I
went to Minneapolis for the weekend to catch a college bud of mine from
Athens, Georgia. Another friend came from the Western part of Iowa, and we
crashed at our friend's house in Minneapolis. I got up there Sat. noon,
grabbed some lunch, then we hit a mini-kart indoor race track. I had never
driven one of those before, and it was a riot! It took me a few laps to get
comfortable enough to actually begin racing, and if we were allowed, I think
we four would've started pulling some serious NASCAR moves by the end of the
race. Afterwards, we went back, watch some DVD's, caught some more food, then
went to the Mall of America. We intended to hit a comedy club, but they were
sold out for the last show. So instead, we hit the sports bar across the
hall, and had a great evening shooting pool, darts, and foosball. By the time
we got home after 1am, we decided to veg on chips, caught the ISU football
score on ESPN, and crashed. We were up by 8:30 to get ready for some
breakfast with another ISU alum. By noon, we were heading our separate paths
again for our homes. A great weekend had by one and all.
Shoutout to all the gals who wear t-shirts that say "I love nerds", you make
me smile at least! 8)
I've decided to brave the dungeon once again. The walls of the halls that I
traversed through are familiar as I had been here many times before. In my
hands I hold a key that I had been lovingly carving for many moons now. My
pulse quickens as I come upon the locked door. No ordinary kitchen door this
one, this one pulsates with an ancient magic from the dawn of mankind. I'm
nervous and scared as I had passed up several other doors similar to this one
in the dungeon in the years before. Some words of the sages said that
knocking or magic words could open the doors, but I never had the skill or the
right words at my disposal. No, I would try a more patient approach and build
a key that I hope would be strong enough and which would fit the unique lock.
Nervously I approach the door, my voice of doubt screams at me to step away,
don't approach. But this time, my heart is strong enough and it drives my
feet and hands. I'm at the point of no return now, for once the door is
tried, there is either failure or success. If the key is wrong, the door will
not open and disappear as magic doors are apt to do. If there is success,
then I must push onwards for the door won't stay open for long and once it
closes, it closes for good. I swallow hard, and can feel my fingers and arms
shake lightly as I touch the door. It is warm and real, but not the true
object I came into the dungeon to seek. No, something described in legends
that I'm driven by an ancient desire as old as mthe magic of the door. My
heart can not be at peace now, there can be no retreat, I must know if the key
works. I hold the key up to the dim torch light, and then press into the lock
and turn.... There is a resistance, and I hold my breath, would the lock
continue to turn or would the lock seize up? Should I have tried some oil
first? Fool, idiot, baka! No time now, it is out of my hands, I have to
trust in my faith and my intuition. What's this? A grinding and sliding, the
door is open? I blink, could it be true, after so long in my wanderings? I
test the air where the door stood, I am not dreaming. I step through before
the door can shut. Interestingly, it is another long hallway, but this one is
very unfamiliar. I smile and nervously check my gear. I know there is a
battle up ahead, and it won't be easy in the least. Failure, I know thee well
and the voice of doubt picks up on it. I begin to tread lightly, making sure
the path is true and avoid the traps where they may lie. I can not retreat to
restock, I must trust in my strength, my weaknesses, and my faith, and in
something else which I dare not say out loud or even whisper to myself. I
hope beyond hope this is the path that my heart desires, for there is no
turning back now. **
Yet another month has quietly slipped by since my last blog update. Finding
myself with a few minutes of peace and quiet for once in a long while, I'll
try to cover quickly what I've been up to. A good chunk of the month once
again has been chewed up trying to finish out the projects for the end of the
corporate fiscal year of Oct. 1. Spent the last few weekends at the office to
help another group make the deadlines, for which I've been rewarded with a few
donuts and thanks. Well, it is better than nothing. Although, I've been
chewed out by other programs not associated with that group for not paying
enough attention to their work which doesn't end this month. No good deed
ever goes unpunished.
I had to travel to Austin, Texas on the 14th through the 16th of the month. I
didn't get much time to explore the city as we didn't arrive and check in to
our hotel till 10:30 pm of the 14th. The 15th was 8am - 7pm of meetings.
After a late supper, everyone (my boss, and a couple other leads) were too
tired to do anything more. The 16th was meetings till 3pm, then flew out at
5pm. However, I did at least make a few observations. I was highly
disappointed that not a single pick-up had a gun rack in it. There wasn't as
much drawl speakers as I would have expected. I was informed that most of the
people who live in Austin, aren't "native" Texans. And I'm amazed at how many
pretty young professional women are out there. Here in Iowa, most of the
women are still behind the curve when it comes to white collar jobs. A good
majority are still in the service/administrative industry and very, very few
engineers, management, and the like. Imagine my surprise to be flirted by a
few of the ladies, how refreshing! A friend of mine that has done extensive
travel has always claimed that women behave much more aggressively/differently
than around here in Iowa. I now have to agree. Women with degrees and
education are such a premium, that for every 1, there are several available
males for them to select from and to be chased by. The "less" educated behave
similarly as their educated kin, and you have the factor that the women here
are interested in blue collar guys rather than putting a premium on an
educated man. I guess I attribute that to the large amount of PWT that comes
in from around the area. Hard to describe, but it is frustrating.
To be continued, gotta jet off for lunch.
Jeez, where has the time flown away to? I can't believe it has already been 5
weeks since my last blog entry. Just looking back at the calendar, I've had
the good fortune to enjoy several weekends out on the farm and the not-so-good
fortune of being at work for a couple of them. The weeks have been keeping me
busy trying to get a couple of software releases done before the end of the
September. October 1 is the end of the fiscal year here, so there is a HUGE
push to get everything done before the money goes *poof*. Hence, that is why
I'm here on a Sunday evening to get all the paperwork in order.
All of us in the immediate family went out Friday evening to watch my brother
race at the Farley dirt track. Last year my brother decided he was going to
enter the hobby class racing circuit. So, he scrounged for several cars of
the same make and model, built himself a car trailer and harassed his brother
and father for sponsorship money. Well, I had to finally get out and see what
my money bought. ,) The night started out well, as the weather started out
pleasant and my brother's "heat" came up. He managed to fend off the gal with
the juiced engine for his first 1st place in the heats. Now for those who
aren't familiar with racing, the heat races are for determining your starting
order for the main event race. Then, I even got my reward for sponsoring as
my sponsorship was announced as they announced my brother and his finish.
Whee! Then, we got to watch the other car classes do their heat races.
Meanwhile, the whole skyline to the west lit up with lightning.
Unfortunately, the rains came before they could get my brother's main races
in. So, just our luck, my brother's best race starting position gets rained
Weather has been so unusually cool here this summer. The month of August did
not crack a single day in the 90's around here, which is highly unusual. I
guess our environment must surely be in bad shape for all of the years of
strange weather I've noticed in the last 10 years. There is never a "normal"
year's worth of weather. I guess it is the farmer in me that constantly keeps
an eye on the sky. And never ask me about the weather, I'll find something to
complain about it as well, which is another farming trait. Anyways, the crops
have suffered with all of the cool and wet weather we had. The corn has
yellowed in several spots due to overly wet spots and the neighbor's beans are
dying due to white mold. My Dad and I just shake our heads as the "experts"
claim we have record crops out here. I love how the goverment already reports
that next year will be another record year and we haven't even harvested this
year's. I know too many corporations need to have low commodity prices to
keep their high profit margins and thus statistics and hearsay will be used to
keep the status quo. Someday soon I hope to see when the corps try to use the
corn that isn't there and then watch the panic. Another house of cards in
Another thought that rattled about in my mind as I was driving back to Cedar
Rapids from the farm this evening. During this weekend's sermon, Father
Peters brought up an interesting viewpoint. His point was how our society
encourages you to look out for #1 while the biblical message is to look out
for your fellow man. Well, Father then said, you have to look out for
yourself. With the society the way it is, you have to live defensively.
However, that doesn't excuse you from doing the little courtesy things in life
to make life better for mankind. How true is that? Even more interesting, is
to watch Bat as a microcosm for society. How often are you trying to screw
over someone else just so you can be a little further ahead?
Oh yeah, before I forget. I'll be in all-day classes for C# and .Net
Tues-Thur. this week. Also, I'm being forced to go to Austin, Texas for work
Sept 14-16th. Ugh. Travelling for the company sucks ass. I'm secretly
hoping that I'll get violently ill before I have to go. I'm still a country
mouse at heart and it really takes an act of courage for me to travel further
than I can drive in a car for 3 hours. Hence the secret reason I don't go to
Campcon besides the fact I'm so freaking busy in the month of June with the
farm it isn't funny. Dammit Entropy, move it to the 4th of July weekend when
I actually get time off. ,) Shoutout to Entropy!
Spent last Sat. evening out at the Delaware County Fair to catch the tractor
pull. It is one of those family traditions that 99% of the country just don't
understand. Much in the same way people attend monster truck rallies,
professional wrestling, my family would go to tractor pulls. This year was no
different as my parents, my brother and his gf along with myself made it out
to catch the show. I was trying to think how would blog this up while sitting
on a narrow metal bleacher cramped in behind the rest of the local rurals and
their families. How would I describe the scene? It is a curious mixture of
young and old, all of whom would probably never wear a suit except for the day
they get married and the day they are buried.
The night air was curiously cool for a mid-July evening, which is a welcome
change from the typical muggy and hot nights in past years. I guess there is
something primal cheering as a super-charged or blown motor come roaring by at
110+ decibels. The smell of diesel fuel and alcohol encrichment fumes fill
the stands as each tractor and truck roars by. Like our NASCAR watching
cousins, you watch to see the race, but you also wait for the accidents...when
pull watching, you watch to see who goes the furthest, but you also secretly
wait for an engine or blower to give out in a flash of sparks and smoke. And
it never fails for someone to make the "that sounded expensive" comment after
an engine gives out.
My cousin Tiffany was at the pull as well to celebrate her new found freedom
of a divorce that was granted the day before. I won't delve into the details,
but I'm happy for her. She deserves much better than what her ex-husband was
giving to her. Her advice to me was to never get married before 25. I
suppose there is a lot of wisdom associated with that. Another friend of mine
going through her divorce told me never to marry your first love. I guess
there is something to be said for experience before marrying. At my current
rate, I'll have to wait till I'm about 110 before I can safely get married.
Unfortunately, the advice wasn't free, as my cousin accidently hit one of my
tickle spots and decided it is fun to make her cousin squirm. I hope she had
a nice hangover Sun. morning as punishment. ,) Shoutout to you Tiffany (may
your happiness continue).
My roomie bought a house and so we moved to his new place over the weekend of
the 4th. Now when you have two guys moving, and the combined worth of your
possessions is about 500 bucks on the street (which includes my cd
collection), moving becomes and exercise of throwing away rather than actual
moving. Considering at the end of it all, a third of our furniture stayed out
in the garage due to its condition. Anyways, I get off work early on the
Friday to start packing and I pull into the parking lot. Here I find a car
from the parole board parked in the lot, evidently to check up on some parole.
Man, I couldn't wait to get out of that complex. Being guys, we moved the
kitchen that evening, since most of the stuff we could do without. Saturday
proved rainy, so we didn't get very much moved. Sunday was our full on move
day with Monday as a clean-up day at the old apartment. Nothing was lost on
the trip across town thankfully.
Even managed to go out Sat. night to catch an outdoors concert of a cover band
and catch some fireworks on Sun. evening. No stories from the concert other
than a good time for those who stayed through the rain to watch the show.
Then last weekend I was back on the farm. I quickly found out I was a week
behind the peak of the blackberry season this year. I managed to pick around
5 quarts in between the rain showers this weekend. It would seem everything
is a week or 2 ahead in the cycle this year. I wonder if that means an early
winter. I should sneak out next weekend and grab some gooseberries as I saw
they were coming along as well now. I'm just a berry picking freak!
Other news, work is slowing down to a crawl at the moment. I had to loan out
one of my main programmers due to the lack of work. I'm worried we are going
to get screwed by the schedule in the end due to the lack of decision making
at the top. I can't open up more work until someone gets on the ball and
makes the critical program decisions so I can go forwards. In the mean time,
I'm wrapping up some side projects, although I may soon be looking for work
Not much else at the moment, but the Delaware county fair is coming up this
weekend. Tractor pulling Sat. night! Woot! Oh yeah, forgot to mention, the
weekend before my move, I was attending my home town annual rodeo days/demo
derby. Let's hear it for my redneck trifecta! Shout out to rednecks!
How odd that the next time that I manage to get a blog entry done, I do it for
Father's Day (with the previous being for Mother's Day). Anyways, I took a
week's vacation to head back to the farm for some wholesome work. Spent most
of the week splitting another year's worth of firewood, fixed fence, and mowed
a few acres of CRP ground for our neighbor. I managed to pick up my farmer's
tan once again. The vacation was pretty therapeutic as I managed to not think
about work in the past week.
However, speaking of work, things are in flux at the moment for me. My team
lead for my main project got shanghaied off to another "more important"
program. This leaves us in the team in a chaotic state. I've been bumped up
another level of responsibility to handle the softwaredut management duties
of the project. This means I'll soon be unable to breathe as the next phase
will come up and the lack of planning and experience in all of the lead roles
is going to bite us in the rear. I'm not sure I'm ready for this, but a
couple of my coworkers are quite secure in my capabilites. We'll see how
things work out. I guess I can't pass down an opportunity to try something
different with little penalty for failure. I mean, what are they going to
say, "you got this job with little training and in the middle of the program,
little wonder you failed."
Also, in the coming weeks I'll be moving to a new place and away from my
apartment complex. I can't wait to get away from the complex as it has
greatly declined in the quality of residents in the past months with the
current rental manager in place. Most evenings I'm the only white guy out
wandering around in the midst of blaring rap and Latino folk music. So far
nothing has happened to myself or my stuff, but the incidents of having cop
cars show up have gone up greatly. Fortunately the move will go quick to the
new place as neither my roomie nor I have a lot of material goods to haul. Oh
yeah, forgot to mention the roomie is buying this house, so it'll be nice to
have a place that won't have the management coming in out at least once a
month making sure we haven't turned the place into a crack house.
I also managed to celebrate yet another birthday on this planet back on June
9th. I didn't do too much except take a half day from work to head to the
farm to help haul hay from the field and then celebrate with a steak and
birthday cake supper. Yum!!! And I want to thank Boot again for her blog
posting. ,) Well, time to get back to work (working late tonight when no one
is around so I can get some work done). Sad that the only time I can
concentrate and get some code done is after hours due to the constant
attention I need to give to the rest of the team/projects. I dread what lies
in the future with even more management responsibility. Shoutout to Boot
(here's your request!)
Not much happening in real life at the moment, although Mother's Day weekend
was a pleasant one out at the farm. All of the family was able to make it out
on a sunny and warm day. Dad fired up the grill and we feasted well. The day
before, Dad and I got the cattle moved out to their respective pastures for
the summer grazings. Until June rolls around, the only farm work planned at
the moment for me is to keep logging out more firewood before the brush
overtakes and hides from me in the timber.
Today's stupid idea for Bat: the Western Hemisphere Bat shard. Spin away
Batmud in its current state and dedicate a separate shard just for everyone
not in Europe. Then, the Western Bat can revert back the old reinc system,
remove invites to nuns, never install thieves, etc., etc. It'll be wonderful,
just think, no 24/7 finn mongers hogging up certain eq mobs, cash areas,
fucking up lq's at the start of boot, screwing up abuse prots for other eq
mobs, etc. etc. I can just see it now, about 25 active players on the shard
and most won't be over lvl 60. It'll be happy and flowery, none of this
negativity that I'm seeing lately. I'm sure some power gamer will whine that
they can't prove their superiority over the Americans if they aren't on their
shard. But as a side bonus, people can spout finnish all they want on the
public channels of the original bat shard. This is win-win, it just can't
Why, we can even have the pair of American arches oversee, and the active
American wizlings develop. I can't see a downside to this yet. The only
argument against is possibly a hardware resource issue which I can't answer.
But computing iron is so cheap anyways, I doubt it'll cost me much to purchase
a machine for this idea. Shoutout to Aceduck.
Finally a few minutes to catch up the blog. Took a few days off last week
from work to help Dad plant this year's corn crop. Good weather held and we
got the crop in good shape. No injuries and only one mechanical failure (tire
went flat) to speak of. Now, we get to sit back and wait for it to germinate.
Dad and I also took and afternoon and went mushroom hunting. Had a stroke of
good luck in 1 place we searched to come home with 1.5 bread sacks worth of
the tasty morsels. Otherwise, the timbers have been awfully dry to keep this
year's crop pretty darn low. Maybe with a rain or two, we can find some more
yet this early May. Fri. and Sat. I helped my parents babysit my sister's
kids while she got her eyes fixed using the LASIK surgery. So far, she claims
her vision is better, but still isn't 100% yet. Although it is still too
early to know what the final results will be. I even managed to get a little
more firewood work done as well. But now with the crops in the ground, I
should have more time to work on firewood. Although this coming weekend I'll
be helping to get the cattle moved out to the pastures.
Just got moved to my 4th location here in 3 years of working for this place.
This time I'm out on the renovating factory floor. Just love the sound of
power drills and cutting of sheet metal to help me program. Only benefit is
that I'm far, far away from where all of the management sits. We are almost
our own nation out here. Work is slowing down to the point that I can
actually take 8 hour days and be ahead of the game. What a wonderful change
Not much else to report on at the moment. Still mulling over the loss of
ancient status to eq. I understand the motives, but I'm stuck in the debate
over keeping it unclaimed and the premium associated with that status and
claiming and actually using it. Considering how little I play, the debate is
close to even at the moment. Don't dare us the eq now as it stands since
can't claim later to get back to max condition. I'm not even going to go into
sharing eq problems I'm facing at the moment. Just a harsh tune that has had
serious consequences for many of us that I'm not sure was fully appreciated at
the time the decision was made. Ah well, I'm not a 24/7 Finn, so my opinion
don't mean shit anyways. Shoutout to Szilard (woot!)!
Appears I'm a few weeks behind since my last blog entry, and by the looks of
things no one really cares anyways. So this time, I'm feeling all sorts of
mean with this entry. But first, what have I been up to in real life? With
spring now really coming around, been working out on the farm every weekend.
I'm getting close to having next winter's wood supply put away in the shed.
This weekend, Dad and I finished the replanting of the trees and arbovidas
that died out of the wind break. We innoculated the cattle and the dogs for
the coming year and did all sorts of other spring clean-up work. In about a
week from today, Dad will start planting the corn crop for this year. I'll be
taking a week away from work to help out. Here's hoping for warmer and
relatively dry weather during that time. And no wind!!! It has been so
breezy around here this spring with the jet stream seemingly camped out over
the Midwest the last few months.
And now for my mean rant. Current Bat reinc system has got to be the most
retarded set-up that I could think up with only permanent death being even
lamer. Let's punish the players for wanting to play and experiment. Two
months for lowest rate and then force them to run on the xp treadmill for
weeks to make up the xp back? For the retired old pricks such as myself, I'll
never get enough time around to finish up a reinc. I'm sure many players will
agree that you have the most fun is when you are done reincing and partying
and not leeching xp so they can get enough xp to make lvl 42. Stupid system,
make it go away. Rant over. In spite of this, I doreadily admit that most of
the changes have been good and the game has been improving. For me, my stage
in life has forced me past having the zeal and time to devote to gaming on
here. Still don't keep me from loggin on and complaining a bit though.
Someone has to keep the wizards honest. ,) Shoutout to Boot, (I bet you're
the only one who reads my blogs still.)
Yet another gripe about the game. WTF, please make all eq making take 12
hours a day and tune it so all eq goes poof in 6 weeks of game time in chests.
Kruik, the micromanagement is getting absurd. </rant mode>
I'm finally getting caught up at work. No emergencies or major fires at the
moment and for that I'm happy. Since the software work is low at the moment,
I have to write a white paper on how to test hardware in thermal cycles. Once
again, I get to pull something out of thin air. Whatever I suggest I'm sure
I'll get stuck with making it work.
I spent the weekend out on the farm again. The weather is starting to get
spring like off and on. Saturday was almost in the 50's with 30 mph winds,
then yesterday it was mid 30's and 30 mph winds. The one thing I hate about
March weather around here is the winds. I can live with the rain, snow, and
mud, but the winds make working outside miserable. And speaking of working
outside, I put my back to the wind and split wood for 4 straight hours. I
need to get the supply built up for the next winter. Once the weather turns
nice, we'll be too busy doing other things on the farm to spend much time
Looking ahead, Easter will be here in 3 weeks (no more Lent!) and about 3-4
weeks after Easter we'll be out in the fields planting this year's corn crop.
Woot! I can't wait to get out there and smell the dirt in the air. Shoutout
to Boot's kitties!
So it looks like the beginning of the end of my gaming career here. This
month I am cancelling my home ISP account from Earthlink. Not that this is a
big surprise to anyone who knows me and watches my online time in the US
evenings basically drift to zero in the past months. So why the move? A
simple cost benefit analysis, I was spending 21.95 to get online for about 10
hours a month, most of which was to check email or a quick web site or hit Bat
here for an hour or so.
With the erosion of my active friend base especially in the evenings, I found
I just wasn't having fun but rather logging on out of habit. Not to bash the
game or the content, but by the time I could play in the evenings, every
freaking unique mob/quest/item is either killed, hosed, or taken. And the
availability of eq caliber of US players at the time was miserably low as
well. While the power hours are a rocking way for me to keep up in xp, there
is no way I can do the major eq mobs w/o a guaranteed 4-6 hour window of game
time which I can't give any more. Sad eh, real life and that shit.
This isn't to say that I won't be online on here, I'll still idle when I can
from work. I'm just declaring to myself that I'll no longer be "playing" and
move on. Maybe down the road I can get excited again by seeing the log on
window for Bat and hop on the treadmill. But for now, I'll fade away into the
obscurity that has claimed far better players than myself. An end of an era,
and I'm a bit sad, but I can live with it. Thanks for the memories! Shout to
you Bat Mud!
Last two weeks have been utter work. Racing against the end of the month to
get several pieces of software released so our department can make their
monthly claims and I can get on to bigger things. Finally at 8pm on Thursday
night, I get the final sell offs and I decide to take Friday off. After a
string of 12 and 13 hour days, I figure I deserve a 3 day weekend. I ended up
going back home to the farm where on Friday I helped dehorn a few more cattle
that Dad had picked up recently, split wood on Saturday now that the snow had
melted enough that I can find the blocks, and helped babysit my sister's kids
on Sunday. Oh yeah, I got my spring haircut as well, as my winter growth was
getting long enough to allow me to put my hair into a ponytail again. I never
realize how good hair feels on the neck until after I get it chopped off. I
need to get rich so I can afford to let my hair go. *grin* So now I'm onto my
JSF project again, and I'm already a month behind schedule due to the overruns
of the last 2 projects I just wrapped up. Hopefully soon I can get caught up
so that I can have some free time in the evenings to play again. Shoutout to
Let's see, juggling 3 #1 priorities at the moment here at work. Little time
at the moment do much more than run from fire to fire to fire. My roomie got
back from serving over in Kuwait on Sun. evening. Good to see him home safe
and sound and in one piece. He is busily sucking up all the junk food in the
apartment and other such freedoms as the ability to sleep in late and drive
around when he wants to. Not much else to report at the moment other than
Black Saturday is coming up. Please join me in my protest of this evil day by
wearing all black. Thank you for your support in this matter. Shoutout to
So what have I been up to the last few weeks? A couple of Saturday's ago, I
get a call from my credit card company wanting me to confirm a credit charge
for over 1300 bucks on shoes for a .com called shoedini.com. I said 'no' and
found that I've been a victim of credit card number theft. I got to go
through the process of cancelling the card and getting a new one. The only
way I can figure my number got out was that I used it on a business trip for a
hotel room, or someone cracked the Earthlink db. What a way to wake up the
Ended up having to work that weekend at work. Then more work during the week
with the previous weekend coming up. Ended up going home to the farm to get
away as my test station needed to get an upgraded PC assembled and put into
place. I ended up spending my Sat. morning helping Dad de-horn the same group
of cattle we castrated a few weeks ago. With Mom working on Sunday, Dad and I
spent the entire day laying about watching old movies. It had been a long
time since I spent a lazy day on the farm with my Dad.
Then, this week was pure murder as our software efforts had to be wrapped up
in time for the monthly billing to the customer. This meant all 3 shifts had
to be worked and I ended up volunteering for the 3rd shift and partial first
shift. The nights were long as the new PC did not integrate well as a
controller. I ended up having to qual. the software using manual methods and
smoke and mirrors. After working 16.5 hours on Thurs. to do the quals and the
Friday to do the paper and process work, we managed to get the software
released to make sales. All this had to happen due to levels of management
not communicating and promises being made without confirming what was
happening in reality.
So this weekend has found me doing recouperation at the apartment. I think
I'm finally get my sleep cycle put back into place. Although, there is
something to be said for sleeping 12 hours straight Fri. into Sat. At least
my motivation is starting to recover. Just in time for a potential snow storm
to come ripping into the state tonight into tomorrow. Talking 6-8 in. of
snowfall. *whine* I think I'd prefer the -5F high temps we had last week.
Looks like a real winter is going to hit here after all.
Starting this week I get to start my next project that is underfunded and
behind schedule. Expect more whining in the coming 3 months of development I
have to do this job in. I need a change of pace, maybe I'll get brave and ask
that gal out. I just hope those smiles mean something more than just mere
politeness. If only I were half as brave as I am in my imagination. Today's
blog brought to you by Audioslave's "I am the Highway". Shoutout to Garok.
Status update, working 3rd shift this week. It is now 3:26 am, and I'm very
tired. I'll blog again when work slows down enough for me to catch up.
Shoutout to Cran
Had a breakthrough yesterday at work. For the last few weeks, I had been
chasing a bug for this upcoming software release. Well, it turned out it
wasn't a software bug, it was a hardware bug. Turns out the lab tech. put the
pins in the wrong order . So, due to someone screwing up placing 2 out of 3
total pins, I ended up chasing a ghost for 3 weeks of holiday, weekend, and
3rd shift hours. Yes, I'm happy the problem is found, and yes I'm irked by
the stupid problem. I even managed to go to bed at a decent time last night
for once. I still have some more issues to work through, but those don't seem
to be a big deal at the moment.
As for my ongoing truck saga. I was informed by the dealer that my front left
seal was going out on my truck. So, last weekend I took my truck home to my
local mechanic to do the work. An hour later, we get a call informing me that
the seals were just fine. Once again, it pays to get a second opinion from
someone you trust. So much for morality these days.
Otherwise, spent the weekend out on the farm resting up for the week ahead.
Helped Dad with castrating 5 bulls into steers. You'd never know there was a
mad cow crisis out in the country. Live cattle prices have rebounded and are
actually higher than they were before the scare. I guess farmers have short
memories. There are going to be some burnt buyers sooner or later as the
market won't support these dollar+/pound cattle prices. Oh yeah, I even
dragged out the log splitter for a few hours of fun and frivolity and back
soreness at the wood pile. I'm just living the high life. 8) Shoutout to
Tired, so very very tired right now. Trying to get one project done while
planning the next one is taking a lot out of me. Every morning has been a
struggle to get out of be. Of course it doesn't help that the weather has
been frigid lately, the other morning we had -5 F temps.
Was off visiting my friends in Ames over the weekend. Had a good time hanging
about playing various XBox games. Then I got to drive home into a nice snow
storm (6 inches) because I didn't hear about any of the warnings due to
playing said XBox. Then, I'm a block from home and I hear a [BANG] from under
the hood. The lights go dim and my battery light comes on, and I figure I
blew out the serpentine belt. So, I hurried and drove home, popped the hood,
and found that I actually blew out the tensioner pulley. Appears Chevy makes
those out of hard plastic, and it literally disintegrated when the bearing in
it locked up. So Monday, I got to drop 187 buck to get that fixed. While it
was in shop, the mechanics noticed my front left seal is going out, so I get
to have that fixed this weekend. Guess there goes all of my fun money for a
month or two. 8(
Hopefully I can get some work in yet this weekend and get caught up on
aforementioned first project. I really want this monkey off my back, because
the 800 lb. gorilla is looming large. It should be fun, a year's worth of
work, to be done in 3 months on 6 months budget. Yeah, this is going to be
pleasant. A happy birthday shoutout to Boot!
And a big fat hello to 2004 and hopefully a happy new year. Finally got a day
off from work yesterday and I won't be going back till Monday. Went shopping
yesterday to pick up a new pair of work shoes (part of my Xmas present from
the parents) and spent the rest of my Xmas loot from my bro. and sis. on some
music. Actually had a good time shopping as it wasn't that busy out on the
town. Hit church, then went out with friends to catch a pair of local bands
ripping it up for New Year's Eve. Wasn't a packed house at the bar which was
surprising considering the bands involved. Some decent scenery, but once
again I go home without a new year's kiss. Even my friends weren't in the
mood last night. By a quarter after midnight, they were all wanting to go
home because they were tired. *sigh* Anyways, vegging today, then going to
Ames on Friday to visit friends for the weekend. Shoutout to Ewige, going to
be missing ya bud!
So X-mas has come and gone and I'm already back to work. I get to work during
factory shut down which is about as exciting as going to school over summer
vacation. All the work, none of the fun. I'm at least getting something
accomplished though, I guess that's something. And I'll get double pay.
Back on the evening of the 23rd, I was at with my parents on the farm, when
about 8:30 pm a car pulls down our lane, then rolls through the buildings and
out back. We were confused and didn't recognize the vehicle. At first we
thought it was my brother, but it was too slow for him. My Dad went outside,
and saw a car stuck down in one of our corn fields. Dad drove down in his
truck. He pulled up and found the plates on the car were from Wisconsin. He
went up to the window and talked with the driver. Dad said he was confused
and sluggish. Dad told him to wait and went back to the house to call the
sheriff's department. They sent out the local ambulance, 2 state patrol, 1
local deputy, and eventually a 3rd state partol car showed up. The ambulance
arrived first, so Dad drove the EMT's down while I stayed behind to direct the
rest of the arrivals. As it was a nice and chilly night,the local deputies
stayed back as the state patrol went out to the scene which was a quarter mile
down into the fields. Another 5 minutes, and Dad drove up with the driver who
appeared to be in his last 60's and the EMT's. Dad told me that the driver
could not answer any questions as to what the day, month, where he was at,
where he had been, or even his own name. The EMT found a medical card and
found he was diabetic. Itwas looking like he was very "low".
The ambulance took the driver to the local hospital. As far as we know, the
driver survived and recovered. Meanwhile, the state patrol talked with us and
gave us permission to pull his car out of the field with the tractor so we
could save the driver the cost of sending down a tow truck. So, at 9:30 at
night, Dad and I roar off into the cold darkness with the tractor and a log
chain. I got to be the driver of the car and fortunately it wasn't stuck too
badly that it only took a quick pull to get it out of the rut it was stuck in.
I then got the car turned around and hammered it hard to get it up the hill
and back up to the yard. By the next morning, the car was already gone and
we still have not gotten word on just who that guy was and where he ended up.
Continuing on for the 24th, it was time for the annual shopping trip with my
old high school friends. We actually managed to get on the road on time. We
pulled into the stores and began our desperate shopping. Well, not really, it
was pretty calm this year as most of us had to only get a gift or two.
Nothing exciting until we decided to break for lunch at 1:30. At Daryl's
suggestion, we were going to try a new place. When we arrived, we still had
to wait for a table as the place was packed. After 5 min. and my friend Pete
failing to get his whiskey order placed, we were seated. As is tradition, we
eat steak for our day out. When we looked at the menus, all we found were a
couple of sirloin selections. Daryl barked out 'Fuck this. I can eat sirloin
at home. Let's go!'. And we took off before the waiter even arrived. So my
friend Chris suggests another steak place. We pull in, only a couple cars in
the parking lot but the doors were open. We walk in only to be greeted and
told that the kitchen was closed but the gift shop was open. So we jetted out
there. We decided to hit a 3rd place. On the way over, my friends Chris and
Daryl both comment that the way our luck was running, we'll get some guy to
serve us at the next place. We arrive at 2:30 to the 3rd place, were seating
back in a corner, and sure enough, the only guy in the place comes over to be
our waiter. I thought my friends were going to riot right then and there. I
managed to settle them down and they grudginly ate their meal. Poor guy, his
tips from our evil table was horrid. After another hour of shopping, we
headed home. Afterwards, I went up and hit X-mas eve mass. Nearly full
again, it is always amazing seeing just who really does belong to the parish
by their once per year pilgrimmage.
On to X-mas day, and I still had a ton of wrapping of presents yet to do.
Same with my brother, so I didn't feel bad. I managed to get them all wrapped
before my sister showed up with her family. My brother-in-law Tim and myself
shot again Dad and my brother in pool in the basement until dinner time.
After feasting, and feasting well I might add (+pounds), we opened up the
presents. My haul this year was mostly clothing. My brother managed to guess
nearly all of his gifts just by shaking them. My sister on the other hand
never guessed my present of a talking SpongeBob Squarepants cookie jar with
some cash stuff in it. My youngest niece was already enjoying the big yellow
talking toy. *grin* So, it was a good X-mas for all as everyone was in good
health and good spirits.
And on the 26th, I was heading back to CR to head to work that afternoon. And
to work and back has been my last few days. And a few more days. At least I
have some extra money coming in if nothing else. Shoutout to everyone, Merry
X-mas and a Happy New Year.
Not much new to report on this week. Another week of work tying up my days.
Had to work on Sunday for 8 hours for my upcoming refurbishment project. Also
this week, I did the second design approach review for the upcoming JSF
software effort for the coming year. Everyone who seems slightly interested
are in agreement with the initial plans that I have laid out.
My team lead mentioned in a casual conversation yesterday that I am now the
software lead (unofficially). Thus, I get more responsibility, get more
blame, all for the same old pay. whee. Looks to be challenging year coming
up. Oh well, until that time, I still have to work this weekend and X-mas
break. I am getting tired just thinking about it. Shoutout to Paula. 8)
So, I just got my raise information (3.9%) for the next calendar year. I
can't decide if I should be ecstatic or depressed. Considering inflation, I
barely got anything for a raise. On the flip side, the max I heard our
department was allowed to give was 4%. So, I guess I did as good as I could
do for this department. Although I'm still a bit miffed that I was ranked in
the middle of the group. Considering right now I'm the "software lead" for
the JSF project, I thought I would have been ranked a bit higher. So, I'm
demotivated for the rest of the day today. On top of this news, I found out
earlier today that I get to work over Xmas break officially, and may even have
to work 3rd shift over the break to work around production. I just feel so
tired. In the next three weeks I have to give another presentation for the
software plans for JSF, work on the weekends and 3rd shift and Xmas break for
the F-22 project, and I'm ranked "average" in my group. whatever. Shoutout
Still the same old floundering at work so I'll skip to last weekend. The
first weekend of December is first season shotgun hunting for deer here in
Iowa. I go hunting with my Dad, my brother, and about 15 other guys in our
group. This year we had pretty good weather, a light snow a few days
previous to aid in tracking and moderate temperatures for this time of the
year. On the first drive, I was one of the pushers. I saw a few deer, and
even had a shot lined up except my brother on the hillside saw the same deer.
He started blasting, ruining my shot and the deer lived another day. The
second drive I was blocking, and saw a couple deer, and got a couple shots
off, but no confirmed hits. I even wounded a coyote that happened by and
stopped long enough for me to put a bead on it.
The second day (Sunday), I was pushing again, and never saw a single deer. On
the second drive, I was blocking near my old spot. When I first got there, I
had to pee. So, as I was doing my business, two doe jumped up about 10 yards
from where I was and bounded away. I just looked, and kept on whizzing. Like
I was going to stumble over to my gun that way. About 10 minutes later, a
single doe came into view, stopped broadside, and I dropped her with one shot.
Two more does came through, but I missed my one shot. I looked over and saw
a buck that looked like it was about to head out of our hunting area. I took
a shot, yelled at my brother to get it. Luckily, he managed to get a good
shot in and claimed a smaller 8 point buck. So, all in all, it was a good
hunt, Dad got 2 doe and a small 6 point buck. It was so small of a rack, Pa
thought it was a doe because the ears blocked out the rack. Fortunately, no
one was hurt and everyone had a good time including the guy who came all the
way from N. Carolina to come hunt with us for the first time this year. A
real good guy, I'd love to see him come back again next year. You should see
the bruise on my right arm and shoulder though, that old 12 gauge with 3 in.
shells delivers some punishment to the body. Shoutout to Garou.
Haven't had much free time at work lately to work on the mud blog here so I'm
taking some time out this evening to putter through one. Thanksgiving
vacation has come and gone once again. Four days off from work, and for the
most part was blissfully spent out in the timbre hauling tops out for future
firewood. The neighbors had logged out the timbre last year at this time, and
generously have given my family all the leftovers that we can find for use as
firewood. It isn't a hard process, mainly it is finding a top, chainsaw off
the branches that are too small for usefulness, clear a path if necessary with
the saw, then hook onto the log with a log chain to the pulling tractor, and
pull the wood out. Just that the process can take a long time per log due to
the amount of work it can take. Thanksgiving meal itself was fine, we ate
over at my sister's this year. No family explosions or anything. I think my
family must be abnormal. Shoutout to Typo.
Work is just going to be a bear this month. Short month with the Xmas
vacation coming up. I still may have to work through it though. Not looking
forward to that. Potential for a new job in a different group is slowly
coming along. I may yet enjoy going to work again. We'll see.
Just for posterity:
Boot tells you 'I was hot, sweaty and breathing hard by end, so I figure it
(16:44) Boot tells you ':) well, like i said if it's that or nothing... I
figure it's better than nothing' (16:44) Boot tells you 'and you can make it
harder by raising elevation etc'
(16:48) Boot tells you 'heh, they also have tv so i also amused myself
watching Charmed with no sound :-p'
All part of same conversation, everything completely out of context. 8)
Sorry for the long gap between blog entries. Work has been on the increase
for me these past two weeks, and the coming weeks aren't looking much better.
I have inherited the design and planning lead for the software for our burn-in
and vibration testing stations for the JSF project. Two other guys were
working it, but hadn't delivered much on results. On top of that, I've been
on call with 2nd shift production for the F-22 on the issues they have been
having lately. All sorts of things to do on top of my s/w that I need to
intergrate and debug before X-mas. Looks like my limited mud time will grow
even shorter as I start working longer days. Work load looks steady till the
new year, so expect my continued abscence. On the positive side, my right
shoulder pain has finally gone away, I'm back to stiffness. I'm able to lift
my old weight levels again, however the endurance is still lacking, although
that should come back in a week or 2. Back to the grind. Shoutout to Garok.
So I managed to survive the road trip to Minneapolis and back. We three
engineers left work Tuesday afternoon at 4pm in our rented Lincoln
Continental. After a two hours of travel and lively conversation/bitchfest
about work we stopped off in Mason City at a Perkins for a late supper. One
hour later, we get our food. Never going to a Perkins again, it wasn't even
busy. While we were there, the place had a free illusionist who wandered
around to entertain the kids with simple card tricks and sleight of hand.
Several times we contemplated eating the leftovers from the other tables and
pummeling the magician. Another 2.5 hour drive and continued slamfest of work
conversation and we arrived at our roach motel. It was small, no frills, but
clean. I declined to go out to the local bars with the other 2 guys, as I was
The next morning, all of us were awaken way too early due to the thin walls.
I had the cast of Stomp running above my room. The other guys thought they
had the neighbors' showers running next to their beds. I want to thank our
trip planner for being so damn cheap for putting us there instead of the nice
Radisson where the symposium was held at. You also have to grimace when the
planner informs you that she put you up at that place because she was going to
thinking of using that hotel chain on her next trip, but wanted us to stay
there to "let her know how good it is".
After a few misturns, we arrived at the hotel and had enough time to get some
breakfast there. We went to the symposium area to find the presentation room
packed full of engineers. Over 150 people, and I think I counted 6 women
total and a handful of minorities. Yup, your typical Midwestern engineering
population distribution. And we got a table at the back end of a 100+ft. room
to watch one projection screen up at the front corner. Needless to say, we
had a tough time reading anything put up on the screen. After the hour of
keynote (pontification), we headed to the hands-on training room. We arrived
to find the room overflowing with people. Either the hosts of the show
overbooked, or they allowed anyone to show up without registering for the
training. We ended up standing in one corner for about 15 minutes before
leaving. The next couple hours of presentations were pretty worthless. Lunch
wasn't free as we had to turn in our contact information to be able to get
into the food line. After lunch, I barely stayed awake for the next
presentation. At least the snowing was interesting to watch. I figured the
trip was going last another day if the snowing would keep up all afternoon.
Fortunately, the snow quit by early afternoon. My final 2 hour training
session had the same problem as the morning session. We ended up leaving 90
minutes early figuring that we had served our time. So in summary, we learned
that technical symposium means sales pitches with basic introductory technical
training. Not what we had signed up for.
The ride home was pleasant with more conversation and music from my CD
collection. We ended up stopping at the Cabelas in Owatonna to check out the
store and its exhibits. After 2.5 more hours of travel, we stopped in
Waterloo for some late supper. I even managed to talk the guys out of hitting
the strip clubs as I just didn't want to go into one of those degrading
places. I'm sure I'm going to get crap for that for weeks to come. By 9pm
we rolled into Cedar Rapids and I was home in bed by 10. So, all in all, it
was a fun drive, too bad the symposium was a waste of time. At least we got 3
free meals on the company. I hadn't eaten that well in a long, long time.
And our new catch phase is "it's only a rental". Shoutout to Shardik.
Found out yesterday that I have to go to a National Instruments symposium in
balmy Minneapolis, Minnesota next week Wednesday. Seeing as how my company is
a bunch of cheapass bastards, myself and 3 other engineers get to drive 5
hours on our "own personal time" to attend after work on Tuesday. We get to
share 1 rental car and put up in a 55 dollar hotel room. Following day, we
get to drive back home during rush hour for 5 more hours on our personal time
again so we can be at work on Thursday. So, I can only charge 8 hours to
training, but I'll be spending over 24 hours for company related business.
Nice. Did I mention Minneapolis got over a foot of snow yesterday? If this
were held in Las Vegas, the managers would have never sent us, but seeing as
how it is a shitty place to go, they force we scum to go. Not all that
enthused about the whole deal.
On the good news side, the project I was working on last few weeks has been
postponed until January due to schedule slippage. So, I get a chance to
breathe a little and get another side project done in its place. I still have
to work over my X-mas holiday break for the side project. Personal morale is
getting pretty low at the moment. Still winning the "my job is worse than
your job" debates amongst my friends here at work. Oh well, I can always look
forward to going home to a cold, empty bed at the end of the day. Shoutout to
Aelynn. II **
I just have to get these thoughts out of my head, I just have to think them
through or they'll haunt me all day long. And I just wanted to have a weekend
So, I went out last night to a local bar to catch a local band and see the
costumes with the guys I go to the gym with and girlfriend of one them. Fast
forward till after midnight as I'm sitting in the circle of friends. A woman
comes over, leans over and says "my sister finds you very handsome. if you
want to, come over and talk with her." She turns and leaves and then what do
I do? Do I get up and go over immediately to find out who the sister is? No.
Instead, I sit there and debate with myself on what I should do. Panic sets
in. If this woman finds me attractive, surely there must be something
seriously wrong with her. Cowardice sets in, I try to melt in with the
shadows, avoiding contact. Twenty minutes later, everyone is ready to go home
and we leave. Fifteen minutes after that, I am dropped off at my truck and
driving home. I then realize, 'what the fuck am I doing'? I don't get hit on
but once a decade. What the FUCK?!? I lay down and can't get to sleep as the
self beatings begin in earnest. Eight hours later while showering, I realize
I could have driven back yet that evening and try to correct my error. Fuck
Dammit, why can't I be happy being alone? Why do I have these urges to be
part of a whole. I can be happy being single, I am happy dammit. Yet deep
down within, there is the Voice, and it shouts back at me 'LIAR'! Then I feel
the pain within, the hollow void. Today it holds the whips and it wishes to
remind me of my failures. And so, the beatings shall continue until morale is
raised....Shoutout to Goofy.
Not so much as a rant as much as a ramble today. Just frustrated in general
with work. All I want to do is some coding, is that so wrong? Instead, I'm
stuck trying to come up with a layout for something I have next to nil for
requirements. So, create gold from straw they tell me in not so many words.
Just stressful and tiring. It wouldn't be so bad if I had a partner, someone
to help get the ball rolling with. Instead, I get a software lead who's
personal decision philosophy is to "let the group decide" on top of being a
slug. Well, when the group doesn't give a rats ass about the project, the
resulting decisions tend not to be very good. These are the days I seriously
wonder about the career I'm in. I should be a beer truck driver, no one
hates the beer truck guy. I mean, hey, he delivers the beer. Shoutout to
Back from my nice vacation out on the family farm and it only took 6 hours of
work to remove the smiles from my face and clobber my inner peace. Spent the
entire morning going through about 100 emails, then spent the afternoon doing
status, cleaning up problems, and attending meetings. Tis the glamour life,
this life of an engineer.
Dad and I managed to wrap up all of field work that needed to be done before
winter set in. We even were blessed two nice rain storms to really soften the
ground up. Things are still pretty dry around here though, we are going to
need a rainy month or 2 to catch up on the water defecit. So, in all told, it
took us nearly a week to plow down 145 acres of corn ground with the
intermittent rain. In the meantime, we planted in 5 arbovidas into the
windbreak to replace the ones that died out this year. I also blocked up the
firewood for splitting this winter for next year's supply. I'm worried how
good my lower back will be when I turn 50 when my back already sings to "Ave
Maria" after 30 minutes of blocking with the chainsaw. We also had to replace
a small section of fence line that my brother hooked when pulling up the logs
for firewood. He claimed that the post was rotten anyways and needed
I even managed a day of true vacation on Monday as my parents and I went down
to the Mississippi river at Guttenburg for some fishing. It was a beautiful
day, low winds, lots of sun, the fall colors fading fast as the leaves are
dropping off now. Only down side was that the fish were biting slowly and the
Asian beetles were biting faster. At least I managed to hook the biggest
fish, approximately 12 in. crappie. After fishing in the morning, we grabbed
a pizza and ate it in a park that overlooked the river and then home for a
nap. Man, I could use more days off like that!
But now, I'm trapped at work with no hope of parole as the coming months will
be full of thankless burdens and endless struggles and darkening hours.
Shoutout to Ikar.
On vacation starting now till Oct. 19th, or if the weather gets bad, maybe
sooner. No internet access on the farm so no Bat for me. Have a good one and
be kind to each other kiddies.
So yesterday I had my end of the year review with my manager. I was thanked
for doing a good job and making the company money. No constructive criticism
for improvement though. Evidently I'm not screwing up enough for the manager
to know about it. *grin* I'll find out in a couple months on what type of
raise I'll receive. I doubt it will pay for the abuse I'll be taking in the
coming months with this next big project ramps up. I can't wait till
tomorrow ends and I'll get my week away from all of this. My luck, thieves
will open and I'll come back to an empty castle. Oh well, that would give me
a good reason to quit and never look back. Too bad I'll miss Melemkor put the
ship code into the game again. Good luck and shout out to Melemkor!
Back from another weekend of extreme corn harvesting. Dad should be able to
wrap up the harvest today barring any break down or accident. Starting this
weekend, the fields should be ready for me to start the chisel plowing. Still
taking off all next week for "vacation". It just is a release for me to do
physical work instead of the mental olympics here at work. Here's hoping I
get some good weather to work in.
The fall colors are really showing up now. One good rain will bring it on.
Also, the fall invasion of the Japanese beetles and box elder bugs has begun
in earnest. Just HUGE swarms of these insects are everywhere on the farm on
Sunday. It is so bad out that you can't stand to be outside for more than a
few minutes. The spiderwebs should be flying here this week as well. Already
starting to see more and more flocks of geese around the area. Well, had
better get back to counting the hours till Friday afternoon. Shoutout to
I should keep my big mouth shut. Last entry was how I was a bit bored at
work. Well, now I'm freaking overwhelmed in the last two days here at work,
hence no blogging time. The fat slug of a software lead dumped his entire
workload on me for the next two weeks while he goes on training in Orlando,
Florida. Fucker. Then I find out he's sat around and didn't do anything for
the first 3 weeks of a 6 week project, so now I get to bust my ass to make up
for his lost time. Motherfucker. Tired of dealing with this clown and I'm
not the only one on the team. I held an informal meeting with our team lead
and two of the other guys from the team wanted to lead a coup during the
meeting and put me into his position. I have to watch myself, this is
treading into those deep, dark political waters that I don't want to swim in.
Doesn't help, this guy was specifically brought into the group for his
leadership skills. So far, the only skills this guy excels at is dumping
work, taking long smoke breaks, training in Orlando, and covering his own ass.
Yes, my life is from Dilbert and Office Space. I'm pretty sure it is this
way everywhere. Accept your fate now kiddies, watch Office Space and get
ready for the work reaming every day of your working life.
Other than work being a cesspool of scum and villany, I'm heading back to the
farm this weekend for the continuation of the corn harvest. The first bin is
dried down and cleaned out, so Dad and I will be out in earnest this weekend
to fill it back up again. This should be the final weekend for harvest, as
our farm is only 160 acres in size. Small considering the mega-farm sizes
these days. Looking at another cool weekend again, fall has really struck
hard and early this year. I can't wait to see how colorful the timber should
be getting now. Today's blog was brought to you by Ozzy Osbourne's "Shot in
the Dark". Shoutout to Osku.
Spent a mind-numbing day here at work. The worst time of a project is at the
very beginning when nothing looks interesting, no direction is given, and the
clock is ticking. I tend to drift around trying to find something to pick up
and run with, but typically run into some roadblock of one form or another. I
just feel bad that I spend most of the day sitting around waiting for
something to happen and feel guilty when I putter on Bat or surf the internet.
Just hard to justify yourself at work during these days when your
accomplishment is summed up by "didn't break anything, consumed oxygen and
food". As a side bonus, I found out today that after working here for a few
years, I now make about the same amount of money that a new hire out of
college would get starting here. Motivation level: lower than a snake's
shadow. I'm sure in a couple of years, new hires will make more than me.
Guess I'll just have to quit and get hired back in to get a significant pay
raise. Shoutout to Klar.
Spent the weekend out on the farm again. Our corn harvest is in full swing
now. Yields are down 10-15 bushels/acre compared to last year thanks to our
dry spell in August. Corn is testing anywhere from 14 to 19 moisture points,
which isn't so bad. But we still have 1 field that looks pretty green yet, so
Dad is hoping for a good frost to hit this week and maybe the corn will dry
down by next week when it comes to harvest that field. On Saturday, we
finished filling the first bin and by yesterday evening, we had the second bin
3/4 full. I was the runner all weekend, I hauled the loads up and unloaded
them. Damn, it sure gets dark early already. We had to quit by 8pm on
Saturday night due to darkness. By this next weekend, the first bin should be
dried down for transportation and off-site storage and we'll be going at it
again. I'll prolly take the week of the 13th for vacation to head out to the
farm to do the fall field work (chisel plowing).
Already got my first support call from work. Fortunately I was out of town,
or I would have been sitting in on a Sunday morn. at 7am to watch another guy
reinstall some test software. I'm worried that the factory techs are going to
get lazy and just call us engineers everytime they have an "issue". And
speaking of work, I was given a small reward for busting my ass for the last
project. Somehow, 35 bucks in gift certificates doesn't exactly motivate me.
Don't get me wrong, it is nice to have my manager notice the extra effort, but
I'd rather had an extra day off rather than mall money.
Really starting to look like fall around here. The trees are starting to
shade to the different colors of the season. Even had a bit of light frost on
the truck this morning. Man, I'm not ready for winter yet, I haven't even had
summer yet. Shoutout to Innuendo!
As much as I complain and threaten, I think I've convinced all that I don't
want to play Bat. Deep down inside, I really want to yet. I want to get on
and make megs of xp, conquer that big eq mob and get that lucky dice roll, and
increment those little counters that make the character just a hair better. I
want to spend those 16 hours straight again doing nothing but reacting to the
text scrolling by. But some time ago I had to make the decision, do I make a
life for myself and be a corporate consuming slave or do I drift and spend my
time in a minial job barely supporting myself to get back to gaming when my
shift is over. I have a pair of friends, whose entire lives are spent between
working and gaming and I envy their freedom. I wonder, have I made the right
decision? How much better have I made the universe by working and living the
"American way"? Would the universe had been any worse off if I had slacked
off instead? Who knows, maybe I can find out after I'm dead. Or maybe that
angel from "A Wonderful Life" can someday show me if I had done God's will.
Who knows, maybe someday I'll have my life and Bat too. Until then, I'll make
my little plans, scrape a few K of cash and xp when I can, and lament and envy
those who can spend the time when I cannot.
I've finally managed to get something slopped down for my end of the year
review. I still am procrastinating from writing work reviews for 3 of my
coworkers. Otherwise, it has been a slow day with all of the projects winding
down or already closed out till next week to start up again with new fiscal
monies. I'm glad I decided to impulse buy a CD of Pat Benatar's greatest hits
last night while shopping for medicines and supplies for the upcoming cold
season. I love her energy and emotion coming through the music. Shoutout to
Bloody hell, just lost 2 hours of work when I hit save on my end of the year
review form and the software decided I needed a new form instead of saving my
current form. Fuck. Luckily I have a strong memory and can rebuild most of
what I said in a hurry, but this version isn't worded as well as the previous
form. Screw it, it doesn't matter anyways. Like anyone who can do anything
about my raise will read/care about this form. I have a couple of topics I
want to blog out that I've been mulling in my head, but today doesn't have the
time in it that I need to fully flesh 'em out. I need to hit the gym soon to
go lift weights with the guys. Best part of working out with friends, if you
don't show, you are ripped on (friendly) and it gives you that incentive to
keep going. Same thing holds true for not trying your hardest each time. We
understand that injuries and things come up, but that don't stop the
good-natured ribbing you'll take though.
Durn it, I forgot to set the mode to paragraph. Sorry about the long run-on
paragraph. 8I Anyways, I do want to leave with this. Tarquin's blogs have
some of the most heart-wrenching words I have read. His experiences are my
fears realized. It almost makes me want to never fall in love, remote as the
possibility is for me these days. Dude, I wish I had the words for you, but
what can I say when my heart has never been accepted by another in love. The
inverse of your loneliness is a loneliness of never knowing and never having
and I'm not so sure I'd be willing to trade for yours. Ignorance and
innocence is a blunt pain. No answers to be found here and I'm late for the
gym. What a terrible way to end out this entry. Shoutout to Tarquin.
So as I'm writing the blog entry, the US Dept. of Homeland Security is running
a radio commercial telling we Americans to be prepared for the next terrorist
attack. I detest this propaganda machine. After growing up during the 80's
and Cold War and communist threats to the "free" world, I can only imagine the
groundwork we are laying for the next generation's worth of boogiemen and
xenophobic scares. Kids today shouldn't have to live in the shadow of fear
that I grew up in. But I guess those in power need these ploys to bend the
public will so that they can find favor. Well, enough of the deep thoughts
On the good news front, I actually have a working phone again in the
apartment. I guess Qwest found an open somewhere along their network. So,
looks like I can actually mud again from home, if I ever get some free time in
BTW, I figured out how to put in a freaking paragraph with this editor! Who
says you can't teach and old dog a new trick. So at work with the coming end
of the fiscal year this week, I get to fill out my yearly review. What an
asinine process, I fill out this form, list out how I met all of these
corporate goals and get my raise that the managers had already decided upon
weeks ago. Process for process sake is how it works around here. HR can't
give me my raise without this "proof". Bleah. When I become pharoah of the
world, HR managers will be the first ones up against the wall, along with
marketing dept. people. But that is a rant for another day. Shoutout to one
hard working wizard, Shinarae!
It sure feels good to be rested up after a weekend away from the workplace.
Saturday weather was picture perfect with sun and low 70's. Dad and I put
away several loads of firewood away in the morning. In the afternoon, we
travelled to Aurora to help my cousin move out the rest of her furniture ffrom
her soon-to-be-ex husband's place. We show up and he has the doors locked.
It seems he "changed his mind" about giving her her stuff back. Guess it is
going to take a sheriff and a court order. Divorces are sure fun. Sunday
morning had Dad and I out putting in a couple more loads of wood and then
heading out to Antique Farming and Power Show at Plagman's Barn near Elkport.
We spent a couple hours there watching how things were done 50-100 years ago.
I sure appreciate where we have come with automation. Although there is
something to be said for simplicity of the time. Dad and I managed to take
off about 15 minutes before the afternoon long rains hit. I then arrived home
to find my phone line dead. So no mudding from home till Qwest gets around to
fixing the problem. Which is ok, I'm heading out to the gym then to a
friend's house for spaghetti and Monday Night Football. No time to mud when
you have a quasi-social life. Farking hell, I'm going have to experiment to
figure out how to insert a freaking newline into this goofball editor so the
entries are easy to read. Shoutout to Digga!
Finally the software releases are mostly done. One guy is still straggling,
but he is nearly there. I'm sure some fucking worthless VP will make a nice
10k bonus because we killed ourselves to make the deadlines. All we'll get is
a memo typed up by some secretary thanking us for our efforts. Ah well, at
least there is the weekend to look foward to. I'll be back out on the farm,
most likely putting the rest of the winter's firewood supply into the shed.
Not much else to do till the harvest begins in a couple more weeks. Really
starting to feel a nip in the air this morning. Lows this morning were in the
low 40's so not quite a frost, not yet. Hope I can rejuvenate a bit this
weekend, pretty tired out from the last 4 weeks of working in overdrive.
Shoutout to Blayke.
With October comes a new fiscal year for work. And with the "new" year comes
the projections of my new workload for the coming year. I'm going to be stuck
doing 6 to 9 months of Labview (graphical programming language from National
Instruments) development and support. Already considering whether to use a
gun or a drug overdose to get away from this job. If you aren't familiar with
Labview, liken to using a screwdriver to pound in nails. It is possible to do
the job using this "language", but it is the wrong tool for the task. Not to
mention the fact that I hate even working with it. Probably going to find a
new position within the company. Rather take on the unknown than fight with a
tight deadline, demotivated help, and shit-ass programming language (mandated
by our clueless management, naturally). Shoutout to Anastasia.
The light at the tunnel has been turned off to save money. Thrown back into
the work fray to help the stragglers get their projects done before the end of
the week. Lesson to be learned here somewhere. Get to go to bed early so I
can be up and at work sometime between 5 and 6 am to help a guy out. Going to
skip out on the gym tonight. Was planning on running (or at least forcing my
body to move faster than a walk). And I need to buy some supplies soon too.
Man, I need a girlfriend or wife or something to go shopping for me. Wonder
if I can just hire a gal to do that for me twice a month. Alright, time to
get home so I can get to sleep. Shoutout to Ambrosia!
Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel for this project. Spent
almost 6 hours on Sunday for verification. Looks like I'm in good shape for
my Friday deadline. *whee* Finally got that needed rain on Saturday. One of
those long, slow rainy days. Too bad my ISU team got spanked though. Can't
think of much else at the moment, other than expressing annoyance with the new
bard spell. Shoutout to Klar!
Day 4 of "sittin' in a box, updatin' my docs". This should be the last full
day of this fun. Next week will be the release process for all of this.
Hopefully the pain won't be too terrible. Expect some blogging about the
internal process (flaming hoops) I'll have to go through to get this software
released. Looks like I'll be in town this weekend to do some final testing
runs. I may even sneak on during the weekend during this time. Also,
ISU-Iowa football game this weekend. Go Cyclones, beat the Hawks! Had better
get back to the docs.
Shoutout to Rocket!
Day 2 of "sittin' in a box, updatin' my docs". Looks like we may get a shot
at some much needed rain here on Friday. About a month away from starting
into the corn harvest. Dad is guessing the yields will be down this year with
our August dry spell. I think I may actually be seeing some light at the end
of the tunnel for this current project. I'm going to try to make it to the
gym tonight for the first time in about 3 weeks due to the work load. At
least some of the nagging injuries are starting to heal up. Shoulder is still
a bit sore from when I ran into the court wall when playing racquetball a
month ago. I must have really bruised the bone or something. Shoutout to
Sittin' in a box, updatin' my docs. Ah, the life of an engineer. I don't
remember this being mentioned during my classwork at the university. Goes to
show reality vs classroom. According to my professors, my days would be
filled with formula, calculus, and a nice, neat, and correct answer. Noticing
that the sun is much lower on the horizon already when I come and go from
work. Soon, it'll just be dark and depressing coming and going from work.
Shoutout to Unreserved!
Really looking like fall around here in Iowa now, especially with the dry
spell we've been having. Corn is really dying off and maturing, you can smell
the sweet, musty smell as it begins to dry down in the countryside. Even the
birds are flocking up for the migration already. Seems a shame that summer is
gone aalready. Well, at least we got the chimney put up this weekend. 2.5
hours and not a single problem. Well, I suppose I had better get cracking on
this software release, only have about a dozen of them to do in the next 2
weeks. *pain* Shoutout to Fnor!
Pretty beat, but some good progress. Going to be another long week coming up
for work. Should prolly come in Sun. afternoon and slog through all of the
doc. work that I can so I can focus a bit in the coming week. Still doing the
chimney building on Sat. morning. Someday I'll actually get a day of rest in.
Shoutout to Daria.
Bloody hell, 6pm already? Good lord, half the time I don't even know what day
of the week it is. Worked from 11:30 pm till 5:30 am, slept till 9:30 am,
went back to work. Head feels like it is stuffed with cotton. At least
the cold is breaking up, or I'm just so numb, hard to tell. Fark, I think I
owe my manager yet another status report. Let me tell ya, daily status
reports rock. It takes me over an hour to write one up because I have to
color code my progress and fill in the eq and software matrices. Screw it,
will do it tomorrow when I actually am awake. No 2nd or 3rd shift work
tonight as no new hardware for test was available. *cheer* About time to head
home, watch the last few days worth of Adult Swim I have on tape and then
actually get more than 4 hours of sleep in a row. Shoutout to Jaina!
Another late night of playing "guess the 3rd party s/w behavior" with the test
set-up. Made some good strides after several hours of frustration. Didn't
get home from work till 3:30 am and had the testing of the civil defense
alarms wake me up at 9am. Bleery-eyed, I'll see if I can clean up the code a
bit for another set of runs tonight. Already noticing early stages of a cold
I prolly picked up from babysitting my sister's kids over the weekend. Going
to be a long week if this develops into a full-blown head cold. Today's
shoutout goes to Boot!
3 day weekend has come and gone. *sigh* What comes down, must go back
up...next weekend I'll be helping rebuild the chimney that we tore down.
Spent 3 hours at work last night being frustrated with an interface problem
with new software and ancient hardware. *bleah* Should be a "fun" week of work
if I can't get it solved quickly. Shoutout to my homie, Ewige! **
Working a mixture of 3rd and 1st shifts this week due to availability of
station time in the factory. Lack of sleep was catching up to me, was seeing
0's and 1's of the Matrix around me. Get to look forward to cooler temps and
dismantling of a chimney on the farm this coming Labor Day weekend. Next week
of work looks to be more of the same mix with 3rd and 1st shifts. Amount of
Bat Time (tm) looks to be low till I get all of these s/w pieces integrated,
tested, and released here at work. Yo Banbarian, get healthy!