another misAdventure

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

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Foul !

It's been a pretty relaxing weekend. I did put a few hours of work in, but it's mostly been a chance to kick back before what I expect will be a very busy week ahead.

Saturday morning I checked on a few things for work and everything looked well. I then got a call from the manager here saying we'd meet in the afternoon at 3pm. Since this was about 10:30am by this point it broke up the day a bit too much to do a lot. I went over to the mall that's just down the street here, bought a Games magazine and a couple of shirts at Sears (yes, I actually went clothes shopping for myself!).

The 3pm meeting turned out to be about 2hours worth of ... nothing really. There wasn't much to look at on the system yet, but we sat around talking about it nonetheless.

So, later in the evening I managed to break away, and it was a close call as to whether to go to the Indians game or "The Simpsons Movie". The movie won out, mainly because there was a bit of threat of rain and I was more interested in going to a day game.

Google maps failed me for once, though. It got me to the theater, but it took me the long way. I just jotted down the directions, but I should have paid more attention to the map. By the time I got to the theater, I found it was just off of the interstate that I started on, but the direction had me take another interstate south, then a road east and another back north. Maybe I just copied the address in to the search wrong, because today it gives me the right directions.

The movie was quite good. It was up there with a lot of really good episodes (though not up with the best). The TV-style animation was a little rough for the big screen (different expectations), and the sound had some problems with indiviual voices (which, after talking to Matt, I decided must be a problem with the theater). But, the story was good, pretty much every major character got their bits, and there was something for pretty much every fan. And, be sure to stay through the very, very end of the credits -- through the usual Gracie Films "shhh" close. I'd have thought that was obvious, but I was the only one left in the theater by the time the Springfield Anthem was sung, and that wasn't even the last joke.

One thing happened in our theater that Matt confirmed happened when he saw it too: because the "Spider-Pig" bit was on all the TV trailers, when that came on EVERYONE started singing along! That just made the whole thing funnier. And the Spider-Pig theme comes up several times.

Today I checked my work e-mail and checked system status, and all seemed well and there was no indication of meeting. So, I decided to go to the Indians game. I sat in the upper deck, second row, and just a bit to the first-base side of home. It was a good close game, well pitched, but the Indians disappointed the home fans by giving up the lead in the 8th on a couple unearned runs.

The game was pretty well attended, so everything except the nosebleed seats way down the outfield line was pretty full. A family of four came in and sat beside me, and the dad, after first sitting next to me, decided to switch seats with one of his daughters (maybe 6 years old) to avoid having both of us big guys crowded together. She was a bit apprehensive/shy, but agreed.

At the beginning of the 9th the folks in front of me left the game, so I stepped over and sat in the first row to free up some more space (our row was still full, and by that time the mom of the family was by me). The two girls decided it looked like fun to sit in the front row, a moved down with me (with one seat in between, for safety from my bite).

In the bottom of the ninth a foul ball came up our way, directly to my left. I was a bit slow noticing, so touched the ball by didn't catch it at first. It landed in the seat beside me, rolled to the section floor, and I picked it up -- then handed it to the younger of the sisters. I told her dad (who was very appreciative) that she deserved it for being stuck with me earlier.

I don't need a ball, but I did get the story out of it!

And that's it. I think I'll go grab some dinner. My guess is that there will be a lot more to do at work starting tomorrow (new features are being turned on tonight, and testing will start in earnest), so the rest of the week may be work, work, work, dinner, sleep. I'll post if anything else interesting comes up.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

A Few Links for the Weekend

Work has been work. I identified one fairly big issue far enough that others (in far flung parts of the world) could work on finding a solution for it. We've been working late into the evening, but by that I mean 8:30 or 9:00, not past midnight.

And, beyond the break, a couple quick links for the weekend and a "travel jerk" story.

And now the links: I enjoyed this joke on Scott Adams' "Dilbert Blog". It's off-color, but saying more is a spoiler for the joke. And, then in the comments to that blog entry, people have inserted more jokes (that I haven't read ... yet).

And now the big spoiler warning: This link has J.K. Rowling discussing what happens to characters in the Potter-verse after "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". This is info beyond what's in the epilogue of the book. So ABSOLUTELY DON'T CLICK THAT LINK UNLESS YOU WANT SPOILERS (or have read the book).

Oh, by the way, the only spoiler I saw before reading the book was the information in the epilogue. I didn't give that spoiler much credence before reading the book, and the information is relatively unimportant to the story (it's pretty lame, actually).

And now the "travel jerk" story: I flew out to Cleveland this time on a smaller jet -- two seats each side of the center aisle rather than the more typical three. After the plane landed and people are getting ready to get off, the guy next to me (on the aisle) gets smacked in the head by another guy swinging his backpack. So, the aisle guys say "Hey guy, please watch your bag". The bag guy says "sorry", but then turns an almost hits the aisle guy again. Aisle guy points this out, and bag guy says "I SAID I'M SORRY". And then the bag swings toward aisle guy again. Repeat. Bag guy never gets a clue. I was more than half expecting him to call out aisle guy in the terminal after we got out. Just an utterly clueless jerk.

I'm still not sure what the plan for the weekend is. If I get the chance I'll probably try to get to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, just because I'm here. If you go to Cleveland, that's what other people know to ask you about. It's like going to San Diego and people ask if you went to the zoo.

If I have the time I may try to go to an Indians game. I may also try to see "The Simpson's Movie", just because like with Harry Potter I want to see it before knowing much more about it. And I suspect that's going to be a movie I could re-watch in the theater later, if Ellen wants to see it (or she could go with the kids this weekend).

OK, enough for now.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Just Super

The best laid plans may go awry.

Of coure, mediocrely laid plans are even more likely to.

After arriving in Cleveland yesterday, I drove right from the airport to work, figuring I could check into the hotel later in the evening. I wasn't expecting to stay at work until a bit past midnight.

Oh, but let me back up a bit. There's a hotel directly across from the office we're working at. That's where I stayed last time, and where I called for reservations this time. Courtyard Cleveland Airport North.

Unfortunately, they didn't have a room available for the first three nights of this trip. So, they booked me for the remaining 11 nights, and then looked around for what they could get me for the first three nights. After a bit of poking around, she found a spot at the Courtyard Cleveland Airport South, and made a reservation there for me. The details of both reservations were e-mailed to me and I printed them.

Alas, I didn't actually look at them.

So, at 12:30am last night I showed up at the Courtyard Cleveland Airport South. There was a big sign on the door that the hotel was totally sold out for a private function, July 20 - August 5 (wow!). But, I had a reservation (?) so I went in. The clerks weren't expecting anyone to show up, so their were lounging in the lobby. When I said I had I reservation, one checked and found my reservation. Unfortunatly, the reservation clerk from the other hotel goofed up the date -- by 11 months. I had a reservation not for July 24, 2007, but for June 24, 2008.

The clerk there said that the hotels immediately around didn't have any openings either. I checked with a could hotels back near the Courtyard Cleveland Airport North, and again found no vacancies. So, I headed a bit further west and wound up here at the Super 8 in North Ridgeville, OH. Which is fine. When I'm traveling on my own dime I stay at Super 8's all the time, though I'd say this one is below average as Super 8's go (i.e., it's not as bad as the average Motel 6). And the girl at the counter here was very nice -- knocking costs off the bill without me saying a word (hey, it's already cheap, and less than half of what the Courtyard costs).

And that's it for now, because other than that I've been working. Another update ... later, when I have something more to say than "working".

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cleveland - part 2

I'm safely back in Cleveland (safely?). Just in case anyone wanted to know.

There is no more. Don't click the "Read more" link!

Nope, nothing more here.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, Kathy!

Hey, it's Kathy's birthday today! You can give her a birthday greeting on her blog.

Hmmm, why am I awake so early in the morning. Of course, it's because I got near enough to the end of The Book that I was compelled to finish it. Someday, maybe I'll comment, but I'll have to rig plenty of spoiler protection.

Kathy finished The Book sometime on Saturday. No one else in the family has cracked it yet, since Kalen and Ellen are still catching up on re-reading the previous books.

I spent most of the day today reading The Book, though I took time to do some cleaning, mow and trim the lawn, and grill some burgers for supper.

With my late night, fortunately I was planning to stay home from work tomorrow: partly working from home, partly taking some time off, and partly getting ready to go to Cleveland.

And ... I leave for Cleveland on Tuesday morning.

That's it for now.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Book

Cubs lost today, but at least it was a decently played game. Close: 3-2, so there was sufficient hope at the end to make it a bit exciting and the crowd was anticipating comeback rather than assuming the worst. The pace of the game was slow, though, and the stadium club buffet wasn't as good as the past couple times either. I know: "Awww, poor baby".

Behind the jump I talk about reading The Book, but nothing at all about plot. So, this blog is still spoiler safe for now.

I got back from the game and started reading The Book. Yes, you know which one. There are actually three copies floating around the house. I'm reading Kalen's copy, since she's still re-reading the previous books. As is Ellen, so I may take Ellen's to Cleveland -- if I'm not done with it before I leave! I'm 150 pages in, of about 750 so I'm a fifth of the way in.

No, no spoilers here. Eventually I'll probably say something about it, but I'll make sure any comments are heavily spoiler-guarded. Meanwhile, I'm staying away from Usenet, and certain other interweb stuff, for the duration. I guess my own blog is safe for me for now, though.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

50 Car Lineup

There's actually been a lot to blog about this week, but I've been neglectful.

Beginning where I left off last week: Saturday morning I got all the electronics junk out of the garage and dropped off at the recycling center. It's only open once a month, and I'd just missed it last month when we were cleaning the garage. And I had a lot to get out of the garage: we filled my trunk, most of the back seat, and the passenger seat of my car.

The center was at the Kane county clerk's office. We don't live in Kane county, but the city of Aurora was also one of the sponsors so any resident of Aurora was OK to use the site. Not like they checked carefully, but they did ask what town I was from, so if someone didn't know about the limits they may have answered the wrong town and been turned away.

Anyway, as I drove up to St. Charles I wondered if I'd be able to figure out where the drop-off was, even though I had the address. I shouldn't have worried. As I got near I saw the lineup of 50 to 75 cars waiting to drop stuff off. I'd gotten then a half hour before the site closed, so I wondered if a) I'd get through the line before it closed, and b) I'd get through the line before I needed to leave it to get to the Cubs game.

No problems. The line was long but move surprisingly quickly. They had plenty of volunteers, and it was set up so they could empty about five cars at once, and only took a minute or two per car.

Other than that, my week has been Cubs and work. After recycling I went to the game on Saturday and enjoyed a nice blow-out victory by the Cubs (though they fell behind by a run at first). On Monday night I enjoyed a much closer, come-from-behind victory - and the atmosphere at Wrigley for such games has been great, it seems like everyone is geared up to win now.

I got Bob's pair of tickets for Wednesday thinking I might go with Steve, but he was busy. So, I gave the pair to Ryan and Kalen. But by Wednesday morning Kalen wasn't feeling 100%, so decided not to go. I decided to take the day off and go with Ryan (and get a very tasty stadium club buffet). Again, the game turned out to be a blowout victory for the Cubs. It's becoming a pattern!

Aside from all that, I had three monitoring shifts (Sunday, Monday, and this evening), that have all been pretty uneventful. If all goes as expected I have just completed my last monitoring duty, though that's only true because I get to spend the next couple of weeks in Cleveland.

Tomorrow - another Cubs game, but that'll be my last one until September due to the Cleveland schedule. Then maybe I'll start reading Ellen's copy of the new Harry Potter book tomorrow evening. The girls are out right now Pottering it up at a book release party at Borders. Maybe one of them will actually blog about it tomorrow. For that matter, Ellen needs to blog about her first week at her new job.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

I Scoff at Friday the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th, and ..... everything went pretty much as well as it could.

I'm back from Cleveland. The flight was very smooth, and arrived just a bit early.

The new release in Cleveland was delayed, but was finally activated this morning. That apparently went fine, and there were no major issues/firefighting that we needed to do after the release.

Going back a few days, everything didn't go right on Sunday night for the original attempt at the activation. A problem was uncovered, and I wound up coordinating the team to fix the problem. Fixing the problem took from midnight Tuesday until 5am Wednesday morning. But, it did get fixed, and I managed to get some sleep (and even then catch up).

Due to the delays in getting things activated, this Cleveland trip was pretty laid back. There wasn't much to do yesterday, and because everything was working pretty well there was no panic today.

Hmmm, I guess I don't really have much else to write about. When I'm on a business trip the days usually consist of staying at the office relatively long hours, going to dinner with the group in the evening, then crashing at the hotel room. Repeat.

Tomorrow, Cubs game, as well as try to catch up on various things around here. I'll probably have another update on Sunday --- maybe even tomorrow night. It won't be as boring. Maybe.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Long Delayed, Now Done

I arrived safely in Cleveland. On time -- my blog title doesn't have anything to do with the travel. Everything was very smooth.

I got a couple things done yesterday that I'd put off for far too long:
  • Got Narf's brother's boxes mailed.
  • Bought myself a new wallet (which should please Ellen and my mom).

Also got some other stuff done around the house, prompting Ellen to think I should leave town more often. But, she's probably hoping that all the time.

The hotline was relatively quiet this week. A quick issue on Thursday (recovered itself) followed by a much longer one on Friday afternoon(not a problem with our stuff, but it took a while to manage the recovery). No off hours calls other than the one on Monday where I was up anyway. Cool. An easy week.

Hopefully this week goes as smoothly.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Ribs and Rats

Naperville Ribfest and Ratatouille. This is the (somewhat late) weekend update; now including July 4th!

It's July 4th and I'm ... sitting in the monitoring room at work. Well, I set the schedule so I have no one to blame. I scheduled myself today primarily to be a nice guy and not disturb some other's holiday. I'm not such a nice guy that I took all the shifts today, though, just the 3pm - 9pm. We did make a 4th-style lunch, though. I grilled some brats and burgers, as well as some grilled onions for the brats, Kathy made pasta salad and egg salad, Ryan got the chips (and some other stuff, including extra brats) at Jewel, and Kalen made a flag cake (which I'll have a piece of later).

Saturday, Ellen, Kalen, Matt, Ryan and I went to Naperville Ribfest. Kathy wasn't feeling up to going, and since it really was mainly a excuse for meat-eaters she was just as well off not going. We picked up half-racks of ribs from four different places with varying results, but so that we each had at least one rib from each and some extra. We decided one place had the best meat (Sgt. Oink's, I think) and that another (Texas Outlaws?) had the better sauce. And that the last place we went (billed as an electric barbecue) had decidedly inferior meat that was just too chewy and not flavorful -- probably not enough time spent cooking.

We left Ribfest and headed to the Cantera AMC 30 for Ratatouille. We knew that it would be a close call whether we got into the 5:45pm digital showing, but we made it with a few minutes to spare and the theater not too over packed. We must have gotten some of the last of the good seats, but the seats down front where you have to look upward were mostly empty. Anyway, if you haven't seen Ratatouille yet, it's well worth seeing. The animation is quite good (and the digital projection probabaly made it look that much better, though I'd have to see the standard projection for a source of comparison). Remy (the rat/hero) is great, as is Chef Gusteau (who is ... well, that's a spoiler). The human lead (Linguini) remains pretty much a cipher through the whole movie, which is the one downside of the movie, and the plot line involving him isn't tremendously involving. Once we get past that, though (which is much of the middle of the story) and get to the climax of the movie, it's just marvelous. Ellen said she doesn't think she's ever heard me laughing harder in a movie (and Matt was right with me in that), and the emotional climax was touching and affected the last character you would expect.

So, that brings me to Sunday: Ellen and I went to the Cubs game with Bob and Diane, an old high-school classmate of Bob's (and band-mate of mine). A lovely time was had by all and the Cubs won a good game. Bob and Diane took Ellen and I back to our car (left in Forest Park, by design) and they drove on to Missouri Valley (Diane back home, Bob for a visit with Mom).

Monday - work, including a couple hotline calls (one false alarm, one not serious), and a monitoring session I covered for a sick cow-orker. Tuesday, nothing exciting except Ellen's news. Today -- I've already covered. Tomorrow -- well, we'll see.

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