another misAdventure

"We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."

Monday, April 30, 2007

Echoes of Ozymandias

.. in which I refer to the Watchmen character, not the poem. Though the former is a reference to the latter.

And what I'm talking about is "Heroes". Specifically the episode from last week, where Linderman's plans are laid out, and it's essentially the same plan as Adrian Veidt's. So, if you're watching "Heroes" and you haven't yet, you may want to find a copy of "Watchmen".

And -- the link has nothing more about "Heroes", but more about my day:

Nothing exciting today. I got my schedule for the week arranged so that I could go to Normal on Friday and help Ryan move some of the stuff out of his dorm (and probably help the girls at their apartment). I managed to get someone to cover my Friday monitoring shift AND a few hours of hotline on Saturday so I could go to the Cubs game. So, thanks to Juan (though he's surely not reading this). I did the same for him a couple weeks ago, so it all comes back around.

No calls on the hotline yet. Yay! And now I should get to bed, because I have a monitoring shift at 9 in the morning.

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Your Music is Bad and You Should Feel Bad!

Today's post title courtesy of the ever popular Dr. Zoidberg. And it was appropriate at one point tonight.

The story of a day trip to Normal:

Ellen and I decided to make it a whole day away today. We went to church, and afterward had a brunch/light lunch (omelets) before driving to Normal. We got down there plenty early, so hung out at Kalen and Kathy's apartment for a couple of hours, chatting with the girls and harassing Kalen while she watched two episodes of "Survivor" (episodes I'd seen, so I knew where all the best parts were to point out, and the episodes were awesome).

At 4:00, we picked up Ryan and headed out for an early dinner at a pizza place (a restaurant the girls could agree on, and had pre-picked). Very good deep pan pizza, at least the one Ryan and I shared, with a delicious flakey crust.

After dinner we dropped off Ryan and then the girls for their concert call (5:50pm call for a 7:00pm concert -- thus the early dinner). Ellen and I ran to do a couple errands, and then back for the concert.

Kalen and Kathy's group sang first, and in the second song Kathy had a special part in a double duet. Their songs were good. The group that followed them (the men's glee) was good. The men's a capella group that followed with one song was OK, though the arrangement wasn't the best and some of the parts got buried (they did "Papa was a Rolling Stone").

Then the night degenerated.

Next was a group of 12 that were doing some lesser known jazz and show songs. The arrangements here were even more of a mess, and much of both songs were garbled and lost. Then, intermission, after which was the never-ending mess of poetry and other writings set to "tone poem" music which turned out to be fairly atonal. There were four or five such pieces from different groups, all more-or-less in a row. Someone needs to pay attention to the program and get some variety in, especially as evening gets later. Finally, the last sone (at least before the Illinois State alma mater) was supposed to be a bit more "up" and mix in some percussion. Unfortunately, they didn't actually get percussionists. They just used people from other choral groups that weren't busy at that time. What they didn't get was anyone who could keep time. The girl who had the loudest instrument (like a cow bell, but two pitched bells) was totally off, and pretty much fouled up everything. It also didn't help that half-way through this mess the director decided to .... stop directing .. and stepped to the side of the chorus to listen. It was after this piece that I turned to Ellen and pulled out the quote in the title of this post.

So, I could have left the concert after about the first 15 minutes and enjoyed the night much more!

Anyway, after than we took the girls back to their apartment, loaded the car with some of their stuff (to make their moving out of the apartment in two weeks a bit easier). And, then we got home a bit after 11pm, about 14 hours after leaving in the morning.

Anyway, that's it. Matt didn't wind up joining us as he was busy. You can see his blog for today's update on his news and what he's been busy with. Kathy also has news about student teaching next year, which she should put into her blog.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Time to Blog the Doughnuts

OK, I promised another blog post today, so I better get going on that. So, details of the day follow the break .....

OK, remember that boring conference call I mentioned yesterday. The one I was stuck on, but had little to do with. Yeah. I was on that call for about seven hours, until just past midnight. Then I got to go home.

So, I didn't get up too early this morning, but I was up by 9am ... after a reasonable seven hours of sleep (no, I didn't rush right to bed upon getting home). Then I got laundry sorted and ran a couple of loads, uncovered the rose bushes from the winter insulation cones as well as uncovered the patio table, mowed and fertilized the lawn, got the storm door window off and screen up --- hmm, the general de-winterizing is basically done now I think. I still need to set up the fountain in front again, but I also need to get the pathway lights fixed (though I think I know now why they are out). Maybe tomorrow. Maybe not. Talked to all the kids (well, I didn't talk to Kalen or Kathy) about plans for tomorrow. Then I had a monitoring shift 5-9pm so that took much of the rest of the day. Came home and washed some dishes.

Tomorrow Ellen and I are driving to Normal to have a late lunch/early dinner with all four kids, and then go to the girls choral concert, where Kathy is in a double duet (or a quaduple solo, or something like that). I'll tell you about it tomorrow. Maybe she will too!

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Friday, April 27, 2007

So Many Excuses, So Little Time

Let's take a new stab at the daily blogging thing. Of course, this is just day one of the new effort, so you'll have to check back to see if I can do this.

Today isn't such a bad day, even though I'm still stuck at work for the moment. I'm listening to a conference call for something I really can do anything to fix. However, since I swapped hotline days with a colleague today, I'm stuck with this.

BUT ... since I'm not really much involved in this call, other than knowing I'm here and being available if needed, I have time to blog while listening.

I have the hotline next week as well, except for Friday, I'll have more such joy coming up. (Hopefully I can also swap next Saturday, Cinco de Mayo, to go to the Cubs game).

Excuses for not blogging:

  • Long, weird hours at work: We're still doing 24/7 monitoring, so that takes about 16-18 hours a week. It's also at variable hours, so my schedule is not set. I've mostly been taking evening shifts, and a late night one last night. Next week I've scheduled more mornings, in order to avoid overlap with my hotline coverage.

  • CodCon & Conflagration: I was fried at work, and so I took my time to myself for my gaming hobby. I had volunteered to judge at CodCon, though I wound up judging two slots and playing two. So a nice balance. The games at CodCon weren't my ideal play plans, and I was particularly ineffective in one, but oh well. I then decided to go up to Milwaukee for Conflagration the next weekend so that I could play the Greyhawk special and the Xen'drick expedition. The latter didn't go off, and I'd gone an extra day to prep for the Highfolk interactive I wound up not playing, but it was overall fun. Four slots of gaming, two as "Joe" and two as "Aelorin", and got Joe up to level 11 (Ranger 6/Scout 5).

  • Baseball season: Hey it's baseball season again, so I have to get to some Cubs games. Right? I've been to four Cubs games so far this season: one in Milwaukee, opening day, and the past couple of Sundays. Just two games scheduled in May, though, so that should be less busy.

  • Computer problems: ugh, my Acer laptop died a death of a thousand cuts. A number of faults slowly piled up, not the least of which was that I had to literally (and yes, I am using "literally" correctly) beat on the power button multiple times to get the relay to catch and turn the computer on. Then it would freeze if I didn't have the barcode scanner plugged in, it would freeze if it was plugged into Ethernet rather than using wireless, and eventually it would just freeze pretty much anytime after it had been on for a couple minutes. So, we waited until after we got our tax refund and I bought a refurbished IBM ThinkPad T40. Only $500 for a very decent computer, and it came with Windows XP Professional rather than getting stuck with the under-featured Vista Home Basic which comes on new low-price laptops. I was happy with the reliability and sturdiness of my work laptops, the old T23 and the new T60, so when I saw I could get a T40 from Tiger Direct at that price, with the right OS, I decided to jump on that. So far I'm very happy with it, though I'm still getting aspects of my computing environment set up again.

OK, that's enough for the catch-up post. More TOMORROW!

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