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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Project Update

Well, it's now about 8pm, and I'm calling it a day regarding any more project-like work. Overall, it was a pretty productive time. I didn't get to as much as I'd hoped, but I'm not disappointed with where I ended up.

After all, I did get the replacement sheetrock up. That in and of itself was one of those things I've been putting off for nearly two years now. In addition, I got our office wired up (as much as I can for right now). There's voice/video/data terminations in the wall now, but only one video feed currently works (it's from the satellite switch) since I don't have the structured media enclosure up. But, the remainder of the wiring is ready to go (long enough to reach the box in the basement) when the time comes.

I do, however, need to order some RCA to 110-style punchdown connectors (so I can run video and audio feeds over Cat5e between the office and the living room). The wire is all ready to go on both ends now, it just needs the modular connectors. Yay!

I didn't get to doing any mudding on the seams between the sheetrock and the old plaster, but that's mostly because I didn't feel like getting all of that stuff out before I had supper. So that'll be another project for another day. Still, that's all that's left to be done with that thing (short of texturing and painting once the mudding is complete).

Since I got most of that old sheet of sheetrock out of the basement, I took the opportunity to tidy up the basement a bit. It's at least easier to walk around down there (funny how that works when you remove a 4'x8' sheet of material from 'the way').

Anyway, that's about all for now. Until next time...

--MZ

Saturday Projects

Well, it turns out that shortly after I made the last post, we went out on the Quest To Find A Bumpy Road again. This time was much more difficult, because most of the roadway snow is now melted, and one needs to drive slower (on gravel roads) due to the slick surfaces. So, we spent about a half hour doing that, then came home.

I've decided that my big project of the day is to get the old closet door covered up in the office here. See, before we did the bathroom project, there used to be a closet in the office. That closet went away to provide room for a slightly larger bathroom (the old closet space is now where the bathroom vanity resides). This was fine, but I just had an old scrap piece of sheetrock covering up the old doorway.

So, I took that down, cut a good replacement piece, drilled some holes for voice/video/data wires (which I will run later today to this location), and cleaned up the area. I'm waiting for some pet odor/stain remover stuff to dry (which will take a few hours) right now, but once that's dry, I'll get that good sheetrock in place and hopefully get it taped up. Then it's just the minor work (including texture and paint, once all the mudding is complete) and it'll be in good shape.

It'll be nice to have that particular item taken care of; it really then means I have no good excuse to not do some work in the basement and get the strucutred media enclosure up and ready to go (because I'll then have four rooms worth of voice/video/data wiring to terminate there).

Anyway, I'm sure I'll ramble more later...

--MZ

Killing Time

So it's Saturday morning, still no baby. Well, it's still there, but not out for the general public to see. :)

I was going to ramble on last night about whatever held my fancy at the time, but then I got deep into Sim City and ended up playing that for something like four hours last night. By the time I got done with that, it was bedtime, so no post. BUT, I'm happy to report that I have a fiscally-stable city of 300-some thousand residents. :)

I haven't really decided what I'm planning on doing this weekend just yet. So far, I've been doing random web stuff (namely boredly browsing). When I find something (usually via StumbleUpon, but it can be via del.icio.us as well) that's suitable for return, I generally add it to del.icio.us (so the last few will show up in the sidebar here).

Until I have more to ramble about...

--MZ

Thursday, March 8, 2007

A Bumpy Ride, Part Deux

So anyway, we go out on the quest for the bumpy ride, and I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed in the road conditions out there in general. Granted, they're in pretty good shape (even the township roads which are generally less maintained than their county counterparts), but that makes it difficult to find a reasonably bumpy path.

Fortunately, there's still snow and ice, so it made for an alright ride, but not as bumpy as I'd liked. Ah well. We still found plenty of bumps...so we'll see what happens. It turned into about an hour and a half long excursion, probably entailing about fifty miles or so.

We'll see what happens...

--MZ

A Bumpy Ride

Nearing D-Day, and still no baby.

I was intending to write at least a little something last night when I got home (which was late due to church and choir), but by the time I finally sat down, I was just plain beat. No verbal inspiration in me...which is an Odd Thing. So I skipped it for the evening and rather did some other mindless things (well, I also read the paper...that doesn't really count as mindless).

But, after I got to thinking about it (this relates to my recent comment about StumbleUpon), I decided to give it a shot. I'd seen StumbleUpon before (mostly as a referrer to my Monty Python Repository), but never really used it. So I installed the Firefox plugin, signed up for an account, and started off. I have to say that it's been an interesting and fairly pleasant experience thus far. I really only find value in things like that when I'm completely bored and looking for some time killing material, but it's come in handy (and I've found a few neat things because of it).

I'm not really into it for the social networking aspect; I could care less about that. It's just neat to find random things.

Anyway, today's work day was pretty productive (as was yesterday, in an odd way). I finally got around to dedicating time to a project/feature I intended to start working on last week. The benefit therein is that I've managed to get many loose ends tied up (which will be a Good Thing when it comes time for me to not be around every day for a while). Another benefit is that this functionality is actually going pretty well (not taking as long as I'd expected), so I've been able to make progress when I'm not on the phone, writing emails, or handling other problems or issues (questions) that come up during the regular day.

In a perfect world (and it's looking better all the time), I'll be able to continue development work from home as time allows and still remain on schedule with various projects and deadlines. Given how the world currently sits and where things are at, I'm guessing this will be possible. That makes for a Happy Matt, because it means less confusion and stress for everyone involved.

Things are starting to warm up here now; most of the daylight hours today (at least after 10am or so) were above 32 degrees, so some snow is starting to melt. It's supposed to stay like that (even getting into the 40's and possibly even 50) for the next several days, if not weeks. So, the snow that we waited so long for will be gone soon. Probably not for a week yet, but it'll be going away.

Anyway, I believe I'm going to go catch something for myself to eat, then probably take Beth out for a 'bumpy ride' in hopes we can gently jolt that baby into an early or active labor situation. :) We'll see how it goes. Hardest part is to find a suitably bumpy stretch of road...

Until next time...

--MZ

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Birthing Tunes and Pregnant Photos

It's always something, isn't it?

I guess I shouldn't really complain, and it's not so much of a complaint as it is an annoyance. I've been working on various things all evening without issue. But I want to do something as simple as make a post here and then the Internet connection starts to go flaky on me. Ah well. It could be worse, I guess. Better than having the satellite service decommissioned because of a clerical error unrelated to anything in my control (that resulted in my spending over eight hours on the phone in one day)...but that's a different subject entirely.

So I took some time tonight to make 'Birthing Tunes, volume 1.' This is the CD that Beth wanted me to make (containing tracks of various pleasant-sounding natures). I believe I'll be making volume 2 at some point in time (unless the baby decides to come before I take the time). There are some items I'd like to include just for the sake of the nurse midwife. :)

I also finally got Very Pregnant Pictures(tm) of Beth tonight. In fact, that was mere minutes ago. Out of respect for my own life, I'm afraid nobody will be seeing those via the public Internet. But, as I told her, 'one day she'll thank me' for taking those. :) Actually, it should be a good reminiscing moment when the time comes...

I had another fairly productive day at work today. Not exactly in the way I wanted, but I did get a few things taken care of that I wanted to get done prior to the birth. I'm whittling away at loose ends so that my workload will be more manageable when the time comes to not be in the office every day for a while. I believe I will be successful in this endeavor. That would clearly be a Good Thing.

While I was waiting for the day to be over (so to speak) -- that time of the day when I'm winding down at work but don't want to start anything really new -- I took the time to go through all of my other work-related bookmarks and do the del.icio.us thing. I still have more links to go through at work, but the bookmark folders themselves have been managed. This may come in handy during my time off (when I'm at home working rather than at the office). So I did a bunch of that stuff which is likely why my little del.icio.us linkroll in the sidebar likely looks uninteresting (if you view this within about 24 hours of when I made those additions).

And speaking of sidebar material, I took some time last night to configure the links and miscellaneous sections. I don't know that I like all the stuff there, but it's relevant -- at least to me. And it's my blog, so deal with it. :)

That's really all I've got to say, aside from the fact it occurred to me that the title of this post should really be the title of a new, unwritten country song. Perhaps I'll work on that sometime...

Until then...

--MZ

Monday, March 5, 2007

The End Is Near

So now that I've gathered your attention... :)

Today was a regular Monday, really. I wasn't really as 'out of it' as I might normally be coming back from not being in the office since Wednesday. I kinda expected to really waste half the day doing nothing (just gearing up to be there). Of course, it helps that I had my usual Monday morning haircut (I've had a Monday morning haircut (8am) once every four weeks for a long time -- on the order of five years or something), because that gets me going earlier than normal and gives me something to do before I get to work (so I'm more awake when I start).

The bulk of the work day went as it normally would. I got quite a few things accomplished (several from my list, which is just as amazing) and I'm at a good point right now to start something different at work (which is a necessary evil, because there's a 'project' which needs some attention -- it's actually a set of features for the handheld application)...so I left work today with the intention to actually start working on that tomorrow morning.

Beth had doctor visit #14 of the pregnancy today. 39 weeks. Things are good. And this is why I titled this 'The End Is Near.' All-in-all, it's actually gone quite well throughout, but I know she's ready for the 'transition.' In a perfect world (if you will), we'd be looking at an any day delivery now. :) I know she'd like that. I can't say I really blame her, after all. Something about not being able to tie shoes and do 'normal' sort of everyday things.

I'm trying to think of something to keep me occupied this evening. I might work on some sidebar stuff here (namely the links and miscellany), or I might try doing the Sim City or Sim Tower business. I found the CDs the other day while re-organizing the shelves. Sweet. :) Of course, I might just drag the del.icio.us line for a bit and find random bits of Internet. Maybe StumbleUpon. Wait, I'm not really that bored yet. :)

Anyway, until next time...

--MZ

Sunday, March 4, 2007

And Then There Was Sunday

I have a feeling that this is going to be a very random and rambling post. Several things happened today, but there was nothing that really stuck out.

For starters, I left the yard today for the first time since Wednesday afternoon. The drive wasn't terribly bad (although our road is drifted over in several spots), especially once one reached the highway. Any paved road was in good shape. That was a Good Thing.

After church was over, we did our ritual of stopping at Willie's to grab some groceries. Sunday after church is basically our traditional 'weekly trip to the grocery store.' We always run into folks there and sometimes you end up chatting longer than you were in to shop. Anyway, I won't really digress there much. While at Willie's, I picked up a copy of a local paper (not the Morris paper to which I have a subscription, of course) that had a small story in it about Beth taking over a teaching position. It wasn't a bad article from the small town newspaper standpoint, but it could've been written better. Ah well. There was nothing libelous or nasty, so that's always a Good Thing (especially in a small town paper).

So we got home and put away anything that needed refrigeration, then ate a small lunch (was a lettuce salad and egg salad sandwich for me; Beth ate some sort of processed chicken patty -- I don't ask, she's pregnant) and changed clothes (not necessarily in that order). Anyway, we then got in the car again and made an Alexandria pilgrimage. Today's trip was multi-faceted. We first hit the mall to look for some baby things and for me to take a look at some new black shoes (which I didn't buy). then the trip focused on Fleet Farm where some wiper blade refills (for the car) and cat food were in order. Fleet Farm carries the special 'Science Diet' hairball control food (for the cheapest I've found it around) in the 17.5 pound bag.

After leaving there and replacing the one wiper blade insert, we made the Wal-Mart pilgrimage. This is both a blessing and a curse. I really *do* like the Super Wal-Mart that's now been open for almost a year. But there are certain aspects I do not like about it. Most notably the people. And the prices. Being the bargain hunter I sort of am, I pay attention to prices on some items, and I will guarantee that the smiley face isn't always the price beater. Especially on certain items. And super Wal-Mart doesn't carry the variety the old store used to (for some items). Anyway, that's a digression, but it's actually forced us to go to Target more often (which isn't a Bad Thing) for things we used to find at Wal-Mart. Regardless, for staple items like paper towels, toilet paper, dog food, etc., it's the place to go.

One piece of advice, though. Don't ever shop for produce at Wal-Mart. At least not unless you're in a bind. Perhaps my palate is a bit highbrow for Wal-Mart produce, but the prices aren't all that great, and the quality is definitely not all that great. Don't get me wrong -- it is produce and it can be consumed without concern, but I will take a local grocery store produce department over Wal-Mart any day. Even if it costs more, the quality is far superior. I will pay for that.

So anyway, we end up at Wal-Mart and ended up (for the first time I can ever remember) essentially filling up two carts of items. Granted, the hundred pounds of dog food, 30 pounds of cat litter, toilet paper, and two cases of Sprite filled one cart itself. But we got a load of canned goods ('staple' soups like Potato, Vegetable Beef, etc., and other items), and that took up most of the other cart. Neither cart was overflowing, either. But, we should be good for at least a month on several of those items.

Anyway, we got home and I unloaded and put everything away. Our cabinets are now stocked full of stuff and organized (a Good Thing), and that a Happy Matt makes.

So I didn't really get much else done today, but there's always tomorrow (or Tuesday) for that stuff. Tomorrow will be back to the regular grind...which should be a welcome change after the last few days. It's going to be a long day, but that's alright too.

I seem to think that I'm forgetting to write about something I intended to. Oh yeah. I remember now -- Ten Funny Gadgets! My personal favorite *has* to be the DVD Rewinder (it's the top item on the page). Great stuff!

Anyway, I managed to do some other looking around online and tagged a few things on del.icio.us. I'm getting more familiar with how to use it more efficiently to find other random things. Perhaps more on that in the next few days.

In the meantime, thanks for reading this historic first week of posting with the new medium. Until next time...

--MZ

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