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The Time Sink

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Most Recent (Last update: 1630 09/10/00)

...and the week starts with a holiday here in the US. That means I only have four days to get five days worth of work done. Oh, well; I will take full advantage of the break while I can. There's plenty to do around the old homestead. Like yesterday, as I was cleaning out the rain gutters in the patio area... I commented to Daniel, "Hey, there's like four balls stuck up here in this gutter!" His comeback: "Gee, Dad; there's only supposed to be three..."

I picked up a load on paving blocks yesterday; I'm planning on starting a project today to fill in a gap along the side of the house. There's a real oddball area between the walkway to the pool equipment and the house. It's too small for much of a garden, but it's just about the right size to put a storage box on. ...if it had something besides dirt. We'll see how this one goes; I'm betting it's going to be one of those Time Sink deals: by the time I'm done, I'll have double the money and triple the time I originally thought it would take<g>.

...and I need to spend a moment or two on the "study"; I started a cleaning project on Saturday that somehow morphed into something else. I'm trying to make enough space to put a Linux box in close proximity to my work area. ...not as easy as it sounds. ...as now I cannot get to the back of the main boxes until I clear the path that has the stuff on it that I took from the area I cleared so I could put the stuff that was on the desk and on and on and on. Sheesh.

...time to get to work on something around here!


Hmmm, that was the first three-day weekend that actually worked out as a three-day weekend. ...at least in recent memory. Saturday turned into a day to rest and do Not Much; I cannot actually recall Getting Anything Done. Oh, I started a thing or two; they just never reached the end zone. NP; this week I'll play some catch-up.

Sunday turned into a prep day for Monday; I'd picked up a bunch of pavers from the local hardware store with big plans to use them to fill an area between a walkway and the house. I'd also made a short list of things to accomplish Monday; I have a very nasty habit of setting too many goals and then feeling I haven't accomplished anything when they're all not met. Sunday was also a day for using the short end of the barbecue. I do most of my cooking on the long end (the cooler end) but Shelley wanted to try a cut of steak she'd heard about from a friend. Uh-oh: I have American Kids. ...kids who think meat means hamburger. Okay, that's Daniel; Bradley will at least try anything. But once he heard "hamburger", he wanted to know if I'd cook Garage Sale Hamburger for him... So I went for the hot side of the grill. It's a little more work; I have to check and rotate the meat more often. ...more conducive to concentrating on cooking instead of other things as when I do ribs.

I threw Shelley's steaks on and rotated them with three days worth of burgers; everything turned out okay. ...and I learned a thing or two that I'll use in the future. Oh; the steak. "Here Dan, just try some..." Okay; I usually don't bother, but I was glad I did. Wow, juicy, cut-with-a-fork steak! She said she got it at Costco but it was a little expensive. She didn't remember what the cut was so I checked the wastebasket. Oh yeah, tender, juicy, expensive steak: filet mignon! That won't be an every weekend deal...

Monday morning found Bradley and me unloading something like 150+ paving bricks from the van; hauling them around to the work area; and stacking them for later use. The little guy is a worker; he ran himself to his limit several times. I actually had to tell him to stop and take a break a few times during the day.

We ran over to another store to pickup some sand to act as a base for the pavers (and some more bark for ground cover elsewhere) and were back at the job before lunch. We dug and leveled and leveled and dug until I felt we were ready and then started in with the pavers. They're an interlocking type that actually lets you create a bit of a pattern. We started in a corner and worked our way in two directions. ...and it turned out okay for a couple of amateurs. We ended up with one edging piece and ten pavers left over. That's a bit close but we have another area we may attack later if the weather holds for us.

Daniel wondered out at one point to see what was up; it looked like we were working too hard for his taste. But, he wanted to earn some money, so I lined him out on the drainage on the far side. It was actually more work, but he got to swing a mattock. ...and that's way cool, excuse me, "tight" for a nine-year old<g>. Tom Sawyer lives...

...and of course I threw some chicken on the grill. I tried some cheapie frozen breasts from Smart and Final (thawing overnight in a Ziplock® full of marinade); I used the short side of the grill again and received another "thumbs up" from the non-picky eaters. Daniel had one of Sunday's hamburgers...

Not a bad three days off. I met my lowered expectations (I didn't even get bothered by an unanticipated trip to the office to restock narcotics); the places where we all worked look fine; the barbecuing went well (and will bail Shelley out for an evening or two); and we managed a fair amount of family time.

We'll have to try this one again some time...


Shelley bought a new chair over the weekend:

Chair with cat; 59kb

RunTunTun immediately registered his approval:

Cat with chair; 41kb

...and yes, you met him last January when he posed for a camera test<g>.

Maybe it's just that birthday looming on the horizon, or maybe I just have my antennae tuned in to a different channel lately... But I got a kick our of this Salon article on elective euthanasia linked by Rick Saenz. That one was meant to be humorous; but then Jerry linked to this story on his Tuesday post (it'll be here once he does his rollover) and it's not at all funny. It's a long read, but I recognized the characters and their composites from the last not-quite fifty years. Some from my street time and some from the mirror...

I was doing okay until the eleventh rule...


...and the adventures of RunTunTun continue:

From Svenson: So who picked him up and dumped him in that chair. Because obviously he wouldn't get there on his own power<g>.

To which I replied something along the lines that he may be related to Heinlein's Pixel: he just seems to appear here and there in full sleep mode. Prophetic words...

Around 1600, at the end of a day that wasn't ending (too much to do, too little time, a two-hour side trip that ate up more time, a forgotten haircut appointment and a vendor that couldn't understand basic price structures: like a PCP&C case for under $100US does NOT have a power supply in its innards...), I get a stat page from Shelley. Seems Himself had decided to teleport his carcass under Bradley's bed. It's a captains bed. The ones with the drawers on the inboard side. ...and holes in the support boards to facilitate assembly. ...or disassembly, as I discovered when I got home.

Shelley's best guess was that he went exploring while she had the mattress pulled to one side as she was changing the bed. He did the snake trick to get in, but was too heavy to pull himself out. In the meantime, Soda (his partner in crime), made several trips in and out of the cat trap to visit and chat. ...and here's Shelley, patron saint of animals, listening to the anguished wails of a cat trapped for the balance of his life under a six-year old's bed.

As my suggestion to pour some cat litter down one hole and cat food down the opposite was met with a frosty silence, I figured the break from the office routine would do me good... Off to home; disassemble the bed; free the gaunt creature (he had to be down to fifteen pounds from his half-hour ordeal); re-assemble the bed... And go blading before I got killed laughing about it all...

So... How was your evening?


TGIF... Man, I am beat from this week. I've been pushing that rock uphill all (short) week long and I'm real ready for the 0900 meeting that represents the top of the hill. I said “ready”, not “prepared”. But I know that there's another hill to behind this one and the key to survival is to to take regular rest breaks on the slopes of the mountains. This project isn't a sprint; it's a marathon...

And I am ready for the weekend break... Even teaching on Saturday will be a bit of a pleasure. ...and Sunday will be a day of rest. Other than the class prep I need to do to get the package to my assistant so he can give them a CPR class next weekend...

Ya' gotta' love that Bilbrey fellow... He usually reserves the word “deranged” for my antics, but I think he's applied the term quite correctly to himself this go-round: some people post screen shots of their cam taking a picture of their screen as viewed by the cam ad infinitum; Brian has pulled the connectivity equivalent of that by sshing around and around and around his local boxes. ...actually, I admit to being quite envious; that's the type of stunt I'd like to pull. ...but I also admit to a bit of a disappointment that he didn't stick Hydras in the loop somewhere<G>.

...and is Redhat using the same marketing firm as AOHell? Erik tossed me a shrink-wrapped copy of the RH6.2 CDs today since he knows I do the Linux dance. I said thanks and "WT..?" He said they just showed up in a mailer...

Hmmm, I ordered a keyboard from that place JHR linked to on his Wednesday post. We'll see what we will see; even with shipping I may come out ahead on something I've been trying to find elsewhere. Interesting pricing; I think you could build a very acceptable Linux box here for dirt cheap. I mean, a P-200/motherboard combo for $65 or so...

...see ya' on the weekend!


Today we find out how well the respiratory lecture went over. ...and I hit them with the cardiovascular system<g>. Then a week off while my assistant tortures them with CPR... Oh, the fun just never ends.

But this week thankfully came to a close at the day job. I'll start the dance again on Monday, but I'll take these two days as the break they're intended to be. We're rolling on the new contract, there are just so many interlocking parts that the GM's timeline chart can barely handle it.

I'll be dead meat tonight... And tomorrow is another day. I'm behind on my email to several people (RSN) and I'll get that Christian music review up this weekend (those who wrote in have the link already). All in all, it's short shrift time; I may just bring the laptop out this evening and see if I can gather up all the loose links I'd intended to post this week. ...while I watch the local team take on UCLA.

But for now, that's all folks<g>...


Perhaps a little later...

Waiting is...

I found out about IRC chat this morning. Oh, my! What a glorious Time Sink<G>. Actually, I knew vaguely of some 'chat' stuff, but email has always worked for me. Well, this AM I found out there's a gang I can hang with on an IRC server; I grabbed my can of Surge and looked for a client. I found VIRC; downloaded it; and managed to actually communicate with other carbon-based life forms before I'm normally able to talk. Wow. I stayed online until time for church, and effectively sunk the entire morning into a black hole.

The good news: that set the tone for the day; I immediately decided to not do anything... No skating, no yard work, no nada... 'Cept church, water the plants, the weekly garbage set out... Oh, and pay the mortgage.

So back home from church, I downed a Mountain Dew, made breakfast, downed another Surge, and promptly took a nap. Yep, that's how to handle a Sunday<G>.

Tonight, I have a meeting at church and and kid's to put down when I get home. ...and Monday's post. I guess I can call this a day of rest.

That's unusual for me<g>...

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