another misAdventure

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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Night of Few Goblins

If I counted right (counting comics before and after) we had 37 kids trick-or-treating tonight. About half of what we had last year.

No idea why. The weather was beautiful.

If anything, the mood was a little different because the rule for daylight savings time changed. It was still fairly light even by 6pm, and we don't get many kids show up after 7pm.

Again, the comics were a hit. I got an "Awesome" out of one boy when I gave him a copy of "Superman and the Legion of Super-heroes" (the Free Comic Book Day version of the recent-ish #1 issue). A group of junior-high boys commented that we always are the best (they like comics, and these guys always make comments on them).

We actually gave out 36 comics and 37 Kit-Kats. One was a baby, and Kalen decided not to pull out a comic (wouldn't make sense). I doubt that the kid was even 1 year old yet -- I said he came in his "Baby" costume, his mom said he (she?) had a costume on, but it was under his (her?) coat.

Pictures! We took some pictures of the front decorations and of Kalen's costume. Check them out on Picasa.

Anyway, Tony came over and had burgers with us. Tony, Matt, Kalen and I then played a couple games of Zombie Fluxx, including one that just wouldn't end. We abandonded the game so that Tony, Matt and Ryan could go see a movie (intended to see "Darjeeling Limited", wound up seeing "30 Days of Night").

And that's about it for the day.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

All Hallow's Eve Eve

Twas the night before Halloween, and all through the etc. ...

Candy in stock - check
Comics in stock (for giving) - check, as long as there's not many more trick-or-treaters than last year (65-70).
Decorations up - most of a check. Some stuff needs to go out tomorrow. That's mostly been Kalen's territory.

I think I'll work from home tomorrow, though. I like being home when the trick-or-treaters are here (because I like to give the comics), and I've got a couple errands I could do in early-afternoon, and a conference call in the morning that I always like to do from home anyway.

Hey, I even got that box of comics sorted this past weekend. And a few other minor things. Should try to check off a whole bunch of things on Sunday (Saturday is going to be for D&D). No Bears game this week to distract me.

Work was busy last week, as talked about in my post last week. This week is more normal, so less stressful. I still have a few things to catch up on from then, so I'll try to plow through them tomorrow.

I've touched on the 47 level in the vocabulary, but I always get knocked back down from that level. OK, how many grains of rice do you think are in a pound (or kilogram, maybe)?

I guess that's it for now. The Halloween wrap-up will be tomorrow night.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007


See my other post for whining about not having time.

But in a few spare minutes the past couple of days, I've gone to the web site I take about five minutes to build my vocabulary, and maybe get some rice to some hungry folks.

Thanks to Mike Norton for that link.

I always wonder how effective sites like this turn out to be. The idea is get some charity dollars from advertisers. In this case the advertising is really, really low key (hardly noticable, but present). And the vocabulary exercise is pretty fun. At least until I might sometime exhaust the available questions. In the three sessions I've done I've noticed some repetition.

Try it. My vocabulary looks like its sitting in the level 43-44 range. Anything lower I usually know the word. Higher and I'm lost. At level 44 I can manage to figure out most of the words based on roots. I've managed to see a few words at level 46, and maybe even answer one or two there, but I haven't managed to get a glimpse at level 47 yet.

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Too Busy

I'm taking some training during the day this week. Stuff I really need to know. A class everyone in my group has been strongly encouraged to be at.

Of course, that doesn't mean that other things get to be on hold. They need to be done, too.

So, a late night at work tonight.

Some of what needs to get done I actually do during the class. I have my laptop with me in class, so I can monitor a site that's been causing problems. I haven't had time to actually debug it like I should, but I can watch it and fix it when it goes bad. Until I get a chance to debug it.

And a new load got released this week, so we have some extra testing to do. That's why I stayed late tonight. But the lab was misbehaving, so we got done about half of what we'd hoped to.

And, I'm the anointed expert on where a specific hardware problem has been seen (aka, the mysterious problem in Dayton from my last post). So, I get called on to answer questions about that -- including the one from a director who called me while in the lab. So, I left the lab session for an hour and a half to find some more info for him.

So, it's been one thing after another. The box of comics still sits unsorted. Ah well.

Tomorrow. Well, more of the same. The weekend may be more promising, though.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Just Below the Top of the List

Once again, Scott Adams nails my life perfectly. This time, not in a Dilbert strip, but in his blog.

The second line of his post certainly rang true:
My life is peppered with these little tasks that are just below the threshold of being worth doing. And that threshold is a moving target, depending on how busy I am.

Though it's not quite right. It's that there's something more important (or seems so at the time) that crowds out other tasks.

Like, I've got a box of recent comics that needs to be sorted so I can actually find the ones I want to read. It's been sitting like that for a few weeks. It's only important to me, but I want it done. But, always something else needs done first.

And, thus, also why I haven't blogged for a couple weeks. Something else has crowded it out. Most often in the last week, it's been work.

I got caught at work for a few extra hours on two (or three? I lost count) nights in the past week. There was a mysterious problem on a few sites in Dayton, and I spent a lot of time either debugging or, mostly, coordinating other people debugging. That's one of the aspects of my job, to get all the experts called in. The problem happened when these sites had a software upgrade. So immediately we eliminated the thing it turned out to be: a hardware defect. Only when we'd eliminated everything else and narrowed the problem to one unit were the experts in Germany able to figure out that the problem was hardware, a path that wasn't used in the old release but was in the new release, so the upgrade uncovered latent problems. We're still figuring out all of the affected sites.

And, after a long day and a fried mind, the only thing I wanted to do when I came home was relax and recharge.

Fortunately, my weekend has been fairly decent for relaxing and getting a few minor things done (still now that box of comics though). I did log into work this evening to check a couple things, and found both needed a bit more attention than I'd hoped so I wound up doing things there for .. oh .. about 3-4 hours. Oh well, I won't have a backlog of e-mail in the morning anyway. I'm supposed to be in training all this week -- we'll see how that goes and when I'll fit in the other stuff that still won't wait.

Anyway, I'll try to update again tomorrow with the other things that have gone on the past couple weeks. But tonight, I think I'm done.

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Next Year? Again?

Their chance was in the fifth inning. Score 4-1, bases loaded, 1 out, crowd making as much noise as possible. Result: double play, one of four on the day. And, the Cubs went out quietly.

I'm expecting by the night that I'll be chanting "Rex! Rex! Rex!", though at this point it's 7-7.

UPDATE: OK, I can't believe the Bears actually won that game. Basically, the Packers did everything wrong in the 2nd half, particularly in the 4th quarter.

And I still don't think Griese is that great a quarterback. He screwed up a couple times, but he'll get a lot of credit for a win that neither team's offense seemed to want. The Bears defense was the real winner tonight.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Philosophical Question

So, today raises the question: Is it better to fall behind and not be able to close the gap, or to lose in stunning fashion with no opportunity to come back?

In other words, better to be the Cubs the previous two days, or the Angels and the Yankees tonight? All are behind three games to two.

Or for that matter, to get blown out twice like the Phillies?

The answer: better to be any of the above than to be the Mets, Padres, or Brewers.

In other news, it was a busy day at work. I was doing a kind of low-key, remote monitoring (down several steps from what we had been doing), but as soon as I started we noticed an outage in Albuquerque. Not our issue, but we had to struggle to get all the folks online to decide that and to get the customer online to deal with it. Then dealing with another problem reported that I don't think is a problem other than a screwed up antenna or blocked signal. Not a problem we can deal with (especially 1000 miles away). Then there was a false alarm that started just as I was about to leave, so I waited to see if there was a problem or not.

And then, a couple games of Fluxx this evening. Now closing in on midnight -- I need to get to bed.

I'll leave for Wrigley in about 13 hours so I'm there plenty early.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Not Really Liveblogging Game 2

I'll open up this post to maybe make some comments on the game, but I'm not going to update quite as actively as I did last night, such as it was.

For one thing, I'll probably go do some dished after bit, and I know I need to log in to work and send an e-mail so that folks in Germany will respond during their day.

Tonight I've got the game audio on radio while keeping the TV on to watch. Right now Pat is explaining how they're going to try to delay the radio broadcast a bit to better match the TV, though it's a complex explanation of why they can't match for everyone (depends on cable system, or if you get satellite, etc. etc).

Ted Lilly has never shown me he can bunt.

Later in the game ... it's closing in on midnight and it's the middle of the 6th. This game is going to take forever.

Too bad Lilly had no command tonight. Not much of that to be found in any of the Cubs pitchers tonight, but we'll see how Kerry Wood does.

The bigger problem, though, has been that none of Soriano, Lee, or Ramirez have generated much of anything on offense.

But I did get the e-mail sent to Germany.
And now it's just before 1:00am. 3 hour and 45 minute game. Ugh. And Lee and Ramirez can't do anything in the 9th.

I did get most of the dishes done, though.

We'll have to get them on Saturday. Nothing like liveblogging on Saturday, as it's hard to do that from section 228. Stadium club late lunch/early dinner at 3:30. Report late on Saturday.

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Happy Birthday, Mom!

Time for another birthday post. Happy Birthday, Mom!

And, again: Happy Birthday, Mom!

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Liveblogging Game 1

OK, so that it hasn't worked so well to blog daily recently, more due to my own laziness and lack of motivation than anything. So, here's a new experiment: Liveblogging. I'll update this post periodically throughout game 1 of the Cubs/Diamondbacks LDCS series. So, keep reading ...

LDCS = League Division Championship Series. Except the winner isn't really champion of anything.

And, the TBS guy who's back in the studio (with Frank Thomas and Cal Ripken) just called Geovanny Soto "Geovanny Sato". We'll see how long I stay on TBS audio vs. switching to listening on WGN radio. This was on the pre-game.

Looks like the roof's open. I'm surprised.

Soriano grounds out on the first pitch. Then Jacque Jones is patient and the draws a walk, with four out of five pitches not close. On the other hand, those "not close" pitches fool Derrick Lee. Ground out by Ramirez, and the top of the first is over. And ... I'm not going to keep doing play-by-play.

Tip the hat and point to the sky -- Zambrano re-groups and strikes out the last man in the first to keep the game scoreless.

Uneventful 2nd inning. I can hear the Cubs fans in the stands with the double play that ended the 2nd. The TBS pre-game estimated maybe 20% Cubs fans, as Arizona had always been a place with a lot of Cubs fans before the Diamondbacks were put in there.

Hey, it's the Kenny Lofton/DHL commercial that makes fun of him getting traded a lot, but never listed the possibility of his eventual destination: Cleveland. I saw Lofton's 2nd game in Cleveland this year.

Zambrano doubles! And then ... three straight strikeouts. Meanwhile, Dick Stockton pronounced Mike Quade's name two different ways. It's KWAHD-ee, with a long E sound. Not Kwayd, not Kwahd-AY (long A).

Oh sure ... David Letterman does a lot to boost Frank Caliendo's career, and now he'll have a competing show?

1-0 Diamondbacks on Drew's homerun. Otherwise Zambrano's not looking bad at all, but Webb has been just a bit better. Still plenty of time for that to switch.

Stockton says "That should go as an error on the thirdbaseman". Yah think? When it's thrown six feet over the firstbaseman's head? Theriot at second on an error -- let's tie it up. Hmmm - Stockton just pronounced Theriot with a "Th" rather than just a "T" sound. Shouldn't he have pronunciation guides?

Still 1-0 - Zambrano had the best chance to drive in The Riot, but a good play turned it into a line out.

Theriot almost kills himself to try to throw out Ojeda (bottom of the 5th). At least Zambrano tried to field that one with his glove rather than his usual bare hand.

Ron Darling said what I was just thinking: the Cubs keep hitting everything hard but right at a Diamondback.

Someone clued Stockton in on the pronunciation of Theriot's name.

Tie game on the high bounce. Now, can Zambrano drive in some to help himself? Nope, but I'll take the tie.

Marmol comes in and gives up a homerun. No doubt about that one, just like the one from Drew. 2-1 Arizona.


Another long fly ball from Ramirez. Need to get a little more on those. And now, the same from Floyd.

I'd rather see Ward pinch-hitting with with someone on base. But he is good for a walk.

Well, it's over. 3-1. Oh well. This was the game they were most likely to lose of any in the series. The important thing will be to get a split in Arizona.

I was taking inventory -- of the eight teams in the playoffs I've been to six of the home stadia (Cubs, D-backs, Phillies, Yankees, Red Sox, Indians). In the past three years I've been to the eventual World Series champion's home stadium in that year. If that trend continues, this year the winner will have to be the Indians or ... the Cubs!

Maybe I'll do this again tomorrow night. Maybe I'll just be content to sit back and watch the Cubs win.

Anyway, that's it for tonight.

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