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The Time Sink

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Most Recent (Last update: 2345 11/25/00)

It's Turkey Day week. Man, I almost forgot about it. Then again, I usually don't have to worry much about it. ...ever since that Thanksgiving just a few years after Shelley and I were married. The one when she spent the entire day cooking up a complete mega-everything meal for the three of us. Daniel was just old enough to eat mushed up real-food. ...and we all sat down at the table to enjoy the fruits of her labors. ...and fourteen minutes later we were finished. That was the day she vowed never to do that again for just the immediate family.

Lately, we've been going to her father's place about forty miles down the road. As long as it's not too foggy, all I have to deal with is working on being polite to the other relatives for a few hours. ...and the first glass of wine usually helps<g>.

However, the next day is a different story. Shelley is one of those. I'll take Friday off if it's a work day. ...and I'll wake up early to find my wife long gone to the stores. Now, mind you, she's an MS patient with limited stamina. So, she takes the paper along and reads for a time whenever she fatigues. Last year she left before 0630 and didn't come back until something like 1800. ...and she already has something like ninety percent of this years stuff bought! This run is to work on presents for next year. She divvies up stores with my sister and they tag team on the best prices over their cell phones. Sheesh.

...and my entire shopping experience is based on Men's Shopping Day,
December 24th.


Perhaps it's time to explain one of those skill sets that develop from working in the emergency services. Specifically, the emergency medical services...

Subject: Turkey Dinner - 14 Minutes???

Danno -

How did you manage that? Something I missed along the way, no doubt. I couldn't manage that, even at my most rapid scarfin' up speed.

Like your Dad's Shopping Day - Dec. 24! How true!



Well, it's like this: we run a high performance EMS system in this area. That means time out for things like Code 7 is more a dream than a reality. All dispatch can do is clear you for the attempt; if a call comes down in your zone, you're it. You quickly become cognizant of several things:

  • The average wait time at a Carl's Jr. is 3:37.
  • The average wait at Mickey D's is 1:05.
  • The CJ's commercials are real cute, but cleaning that white shirt is no fun.
  • Sack lunches can be eaten at any time.
  • An entire tuna salad sandwich can be sucked down in 1.1 miles, even Code 3.
  • Ice chests are your friend (Shelley and I each carried one on board).
So, after seven years in EMS for Shelley (and fifteen for me) when we got married, it's taken a little time to return to the pattern most people would consider normal... I think we may have reached it; the relatives didn't stare at us much at all the last few Thanksgivings...

But those first few...


Shelley sometimes says I'm one of those who sees the glass as half empty... This week the glass has been half full. ...ever since two days ago became my Wednesday and today became Friday<g>.

So... Today is it for the week. The office might be open Friday, but I won't be there. I'll be home running up my energy costs while the kids watch TV in front of a fire and Shelley does her shopping for Christmas 2001.

I've been short-posting the last few days as my evenings have been taken up playing with the Red Hat 7 distribution. There's lots to learn and lots to unlearn. ...at least for me; Mandrake spoiled me in some areas. ...but Mandrake's trying for the desktop space and I wanted a look at where Red Hat was going in the server space. Not too bad from what I can tell. ...for home use (before Tom blows a gasket<g>). RH7's kernal has the ray_cs drivers for my wireless NICs already set to go; it picked up on their presence during the initial install on both the laptop and the test bed. That's the first distro to pull that one off. The others I've had to play with and beg to take the rpm or tar.

The only problem I've had with my current spin: the NIC in the testbed grabbed IRQ 3 and cost me the use of that external modem... Sheesh, maybe I need to move up to an ATX box. Nah, there's plenty of time before the next millennium. ...at least a month or so.

So... This weekend, I'm going to leave the testbed out of direct touch with my ISP and try IP chaining from the laptop to the testbed to a modem/hub/router goodie I picked up a while back. That should make for another gray hair or two. ...or maybe even a post.

Have a good day; I'll check in later on the ETP site.


Good morning... Welcome to Thanksgiving Day to those of us living in the United States. The "most traveled day of the year", a day of giving thanks, and a day for spending time with your family.

It's also the semi-official kickoff of the Christmas season. ...at least for now; the current marketing trend presents Thanksgiving as an inconvenient distraction that prevents the Christmas season from starting the day after Halloween.

It also kicks off the annual 'winterfest' for the medical crowd: people who eat too much and drop their heart rates a little too low as they digest their food, people who cannot stand the thought of being alone during this time and decide to pack it in, and people who drive like damned fools through poor weather conditions to make it somewhere on time. ...and end up mixing metal with some innocent sod just trying to get over the river and through the woods.

So here's the deal: take it easy on the food (or at least space it out a little); Someone really does care (take a moment to find out how much); and leave early enough to spend some quality time before dinner with people you like (okay, tolerate) rather than the staff at the local House of Pain...

Okay. Yeah. Sure. I'm out of the field now... But as you've read here, a lot of that stays with you for a long, long time. ...and I really do care about people not checking out when they're not scheduled to.

...and while I worked most holidays when I was single, now I'm the guy going over the river and through the woods. ...and I just do not want to meet and greet anyone with anything other than a friendly wave today.

Sgt. Esterhaus had it right...109kb wave file

I guess I should have posted that last line a day earlier. Get better RSN, Barbara. Now as to the menu adjustments...

0700 +/- Well, she's off... Yep, probably in both senses of the word<g>. If you're from the states, you may remember a Mervyn's TV ad from several years back, the one with the lady at the door chanting, "Open, open, open..." That's my girl! There's a stuffed bear or some such sitting on a shelf in there just waiting to be hugged and loved and named George...

Oops... Sorry. That last is from too many Saturday morning cartoons with the kids during their deformative years. That's the one with Daffy and Bugs and they're trying to tunnel to someplace and they end up in some other place with snow and ice and a guy that's not exactly the brightest bulb in the chandelier and he thinks Bugs is a pet bunny rabbit until Bugs convinces him that Daffy is really the pet bunny rabbit he's wanted all his life and he's all white but he looks a lot like that orange monster the Dr. Jekyl character has running around in an out of all those doors in that other one... I think he carried an axe also, but I don't recall the snow guy carrying anything but his pet bunny rabbit...

Oh. Sorry. Obviously this is why I use Dave's Time Machine (Hey! He's using baseball metaphors today to explain computer innards!)to post late at night rather than in the mornings before the medication can get on board. Time to walk carefully out to the kitchen and power slam a Pepsi (and maybe add some chips and jalapeño dip to the mix) and see if all the brain waves can come into some sort of synch...

<Sigh...> More later from the land of ETP...


...ever hear of a thing called a Hoyer Lift? (That noise you hear is the medical types chuckling about what's coming...)

A Hoyer Lift is a device you use to move relatively immobile or weak patients from their bed to the couch, chair, or even the bathtub. ...and I have a feeling that would be much better than trying to get out of bed when the time comes. I suspect the entire morning is going to be running in slow motion for me.

Hmmm... Running may not be a good word. Although, if the weather holds, I'll be blading later. Nothing like a good gliding motion to work out the kinks. ...and kinks there are, especially on the left side of my neck. I hang the lights on the trees out front with an eighteen foot pole. Manipulating that thing at full extension is a lot like fishing. ...with an eighteen foot pole!. Ah, well; it's all finished except for trouble shooting one X-10 module that keeps responding to the wrong code. Maybe I can even get some computer time in today<G>.

...and I have work to do! Shelley's machine has now officially reached critical mass regarding her long-anticipated upgrade. She posted her first NetWidows piece last night (Hey, Keri!) and that machine needs at least a new set of drapes before I put the Farquhar Hurt on it. (...at one point Dave was going to use those autoexec.bat and config.sys files as examples of how not to do things 'cause that machine at that time was a normal Win95 installation).

...and man, is it a kludge of old parts.


The day of rest... I thought I had one of those yesterday. Really. Then Shelley and I were chatting before bedtime and she started listing the things I got done during the day. ...while I was resting.

Let's see, I fixed that recalcitrant X-10 module that didn't want to play reindeer games; it turned out one of the switch wheels wasn't making contact to set the correct unit code. ...and the beauty of tearing everything that doesn't work apart (yes, excepting the cats and the kids) is that I knew that model had self-cleaning wipers to make the encoding contacts. So... A few turns around the dial (from the tippy top of the step ladder) did the trick. Man, who the heck put that installation way up there on the wall??? ...instead of say, inside the attic where it's warmer in the winter. I mean, like, you know, Romex doesn't really care where it's run...

What else? Bradley and I dropped by a few stores yesterday on a parts run. One was a local Radio Shack... He didn't make the connection until we pulled up in front and he saw the logo, "You know, Dad, I've never been to a Radio Shack; but, of course, I've heard of them." ...and once inside, "Wowwwww. This is soooo coool." Good guerilla marketing: all the eye candy for kids was at a kid's eye level. ...and most of those products had a sacrificial sample with fresh batteries waiting for a tryout.
(I told him to ask his mom.)

'Cause I'm with JHR; I'd just as soon batten down the hatches and not come out until the twelfth day of Christmas is over. ...too many people. Some of whom haven't driven their cars since last year at this time. ...or used deodorant since then. ...or are trying out the eau de whatever they received as a gift last year. ...from someone who really didn't like them. I get all twitchy just thinking about it.

What's on the agenda for today in the land of The Time Sink? Well, church first (I don't plan on being up more than an hour before); then, I recall Shelley saying something about getting all of her household Christmas decorations down from the attic. Hmmm... It might be time then to find something to do waaaay out of site. Yep, the kids are big enough to help her<g>.
Sure they are...

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