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Friday, March 30, 2007

Rainy, Rainy Day

So I'm home for the day now, and it's Friday! Woohoo! Although it could be a nicer Friday -- it's just been gloomy and rainy all day so far. While that's alright to a degree, it makes the day a bit more ho-hum.

Anyway, I've noticed a fair increase in the number of trains moving along the BNSF tracks down the road a bit. Maybe I've just been more tuned into the train noise lately (which isn't that bad when you're over a mile from the tracks, it's mostly low rumbling and the occasional whistle, depending upon the direction of the wind), but it seems like there are always trains running by.

I don't believe that it's just my imagination, though. I would imagine that there is likely a fair amount of dry (and liquid) fertilizer being moved in anticipation of the forthcoming agricultural season. So I would guess that there are actually more trains moving through the area (as this is a fairly major corridor).

Anyway, enough of that. Trains are cool. :)

So we gave Kirstin her first 'full immersion' bath last night. That sounds overly baptist of me, I guess. She sat in a small amount of water and was bathed in the sink as opposed to sponge bathed. Yeah, that's it. I figured we'd have a screamer on our hands when that happened, but she did really well. She got a bit cold towards the end (I can't say I blame her), but it really went off without a hitch. So that was a Good Thing.

Anyway, I think I'm going to just hang out for a while now on this gloomy Friday afternoon. I've still got plenty of things I can work on, but I'm just going to vegitate for a bit, I think. Yeah, that sounds good. Or in a Homer Simpson sort of way: 'Mmmm, Vegitate...'

Until next time...

--MZ

Thursday, March 29, 2007

And Then There Were 51

Posts, that is.

As promised, I am returning for some before bed ramblings...mostly about various things I made notes of for future reference (now). Yeah, I forget a load of things that I think might make good rambling material (or hell, just rambling material) unless I write them down.

I really only spent a half-day at work today, which is exactly what I wanted to do. I never intended to stay the entire day today, and I don't intend to do so tomorrow, either. It wasn't looking likely at points in time Wednesday evening when Murphy's Law seemed to strike with a vengeance. Of course anything that could go wrong did go wrong. I was ready to throw things out the window (Printer Toss anyone? Speaking of which, I still need to convert those VHS tapes to DVD). Since I haven't done a Printer Toss since August of 2000, you might say that the need is there sometime. After all, there's really something soothing about throwing obsolete equipment from a second-story brick building window to a paved parking lot below.

Anyway, as I had anticipated, upon calm return to work on Thursday (and a diligent hour and a half of patient work), the situation was resolved and things were back on track again. About a half-hour later than I wanted them to be, but that's not too bad considering the time that was lost Wednesday afternoon.

Anyway, I left work around 1:15 and after making some stops around town, managed to get home around 2. Not too bad, and it was a welcome thing (but more about that later).

I seemed to be plagued with various Internet troubles today, though. By and large, they weren't too bad, but just really annoying. First off, while I was at work...I needed to upload some pre-release installations for a client. Normally this isn't such a big deal, but for some reason today the ISP at work decided I couldn't upload very fast. In fact, for some reason (it may have been routing-related, I didn't care enough to check), I was really limited to about 15K/sec, which is incredibly slow compared to the normal rate (of at least 50K/sec). So, considering it was 11MB of material, it took significantly longer than I had expected. Fair enough, I was able to clean off my desk a bit... But anyone who's ever been in my office (at work) understands that my desk pretty much remains in a pristine state at all times, so a clean-up doesn't take long at all. Ah well, c'est la vie.

So anyway, I get home and it was going to rain soon. Not that big a deal, but when the atmospheric conditions are right, my satellite link (for Internet service) goes on the fritz. Fortunately today it was fairly intermittent (I don't believe it ever lasted in an offline state for more than a few minutes), but it always happens at inconvenient times. Not that I was doing many incredibly important things (short of paying a few bills and doing some annual research), but it's still a bit frustrating. Ah well, at least it wasn't going out when I uploaded pictures to Flickr or while I'm writing this post, so I have that for which to be thankful today. :)

Anyway, when I got home today I decided (seeing as how it looked like it was going to rain soon thereafter) that I should go out and feed/water the dogs (and give them attention) right away. I also took the time to gather and remove the garbage (which was starting to pile up a bit). No more than I got those tasks complete and returned to the house, and it started to rain (pretty good for a while, too). Go me! It's been kinda funny this evening -- I see Koshka periodically in her doghouse (which she only does when it's raining or hailing), but Kurva is hiding under one of the barren apple trees, devoid of any shelter from the rain. Koshka hangs around outside most of the time (unless it's not misting or sprinkling), so they're both just wet and ragged looking. I'm sure they smell fantastic too! :)

Anyway, upon my return to the house (when it started raining), I managed to sit down at my desk and do some organization and cleaning. Namely going through items which had not been filed or needed organizing (bills, paid items, etc.) Of course, there are insurance documents and changes in plans, etc., with the arrival of Kirstin, so I consolidated all of that business and got it filed away. Just miscellaneous things I've already looked at but hadn't organized properly. So that was good to get out of the way.

I then managed to spend the remainder of the day (or evening, rather) catching up on other things. I actually got to sit on the couch for a while and read yesterday's paper, giving George much-needed attention, and giving Kirstin some dad time (short of putting her to bed and keeping her occupied when Beth needs to attend to other duties). So that was a good time. I also got to watch some TV...prior to the few minutes before I shut off the TV in the bedroom.

So yeah, this is my wind-down time for the day. It works.

Oh yeah -- before I forget -- we got a package in the mail today, the contents of which happened to be a really nice big quilt for Kirstin. Very cool stuff! So, Kim, if you happen to stumble across this post before I catch you some other way -- thanks! You rock!

Anyway, I wrap up this post with a bit of irony (or impatience, if you will). Some time ago (about a month ago, actually), I received an invitation to judge at a theatrical event of sorts -- for the county 4-H clubs. I got referred by one of our neighbors (who happens to be on the advisory committee) who happens to know a bit about my background in theatre (and the fact that I'm qualified to judge theatre and speech for the Minnesota State High School League). Anyway, the point is that I (of course) accepted the invitation and sent the county 4-H coordinator an email to confirm. Well due to an unknown reason, I don't recall ever receiving any confirmation. And honestly, I'd forgotten about the event (although I found the invitation this afternoon while cleaning up and filing papers) until I heard a promo for the event on the local radio station yesterday. So anyway, this morning I sent her an email to find out if I was still a part of it and whatnot. Well, she replied pretty much right away and informed me that she'd sent a letter out the day before and I should have it either today or tomorrow (with the final information). Seeing as how it only had to travel 15 miles, it of course was here today. So, ask and ye shall receive, I guess. It was just a bit ironic to me that after the time lapse in communication, the two methods came together on the same day (hell, the same morning, because our mail comes right away in the morning, many times before I even leave for work). Go figure.

So I'm looking forward to that event on Saturday night. Should be a good time. But in the meantime, it's time for me to get to bed, so until the next time...

--MZ

The 50th Post!

It's a little early for my normal writing time, and I don't intend to make this post very long. But, as I was thinking of how to become inspired for things about which to write, I noticed that this would be the 50th post to this blog medium.

I still am happy with the choice I made to migrate from the previous medium (which served me well for some time), because in my busier life...it's plain simpler to make a short (or long) post without doing much work. That's a Good Thing.

So, here's to 50 posts, to the next 50 posts, and to hopefully 500 posts at some point in time!

I will likely compose more later, presumably after the 10pm news tonight.

Until then...

--MZ

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Rainy Wednesday

So as promised, I write some rambling text on Wednesday to extrapolate some thoughts from Tuesday. Hmm, that sounds weird...but oh well.

I randomly came upon a website the other day (likely while Stumbling) where the presenter was pointing out there's a town in Austria by the name of 'Fucking.' I (and certainly many others) got a bit of a kick out of this. It also reminded me of the few weeks I spent in Germany back in 1998. One day we went on a bit of a trip into Austria (into the mountains). While driving along in Austria, we approached a town and the city sign immediately caught my attention: Hard. I got a good chuckle out of it and confused many of the passengers in the vehicle with me (who were all German), because they didn't understand the innuendo connotation of the word 'hard' in the context that immediately popped into my head (after all, I was seventeen at the time...).

After explaining the innuendo meaning of the word hard, everyone got the joke and we all shared a laugh. I sometimes think of the trip that day and driving through the Austrian countryside, and the story about Fucking, Austria brought that back to more clear mind.

So anyway, yesterday was Kirstin's first real doctor's appointment (since being discharged from the hospital after birth), at two weeks. Beth had an appointment shortly before Kirstin's, and due to some various reasons, ended up not able to come along with Dad to the big appointment. It went pretty well, or as well as it possibly could go given that nobody really likes going to the doctor. She's grown some more, weighing in at 8lbs 12ozs now (which to have gained 8.5 ozs since birth (or more appropriately, 1lb, 2 ozs since being discharged from the hospital) at two weeks is fantastic). She's gotten a bit longer as well, and her head is getting larger. She's just growin' like a weed. Which makes sense based upon how much she likes to eat. :)

She's in the 95th percentile regarding head size at this time, and in the 90th percentile related to height and weight. Still a little peanut. :) And normal and healthy, so that's a Good Thing. She checked out just fine and doesn't need to go back for another six weeks (she'll be two months old then). Woohoo!

Anyway, I'm hoping to do a few short days come Thursday and Friday this week. The real hope would be to pull half-days at the office and spend the remainder of the time working from home. It's been a bit impossible to do that this week so far (I've been here all day Monday, Tuesday, and will be today), and since this week is the week of Tuesday evening meeting and Wednesday evening church, those make for particularly long days. It'd be nice to spend a little more time at home come later this week, especially since a fairly large deadline will presumably be met by late this afternoon, so my immediate need to actually be working at the office will be reduced for a while. I still have a load of things to do, but they can all be done from home (hooray!).

We're looking at the next public release to become available on Friday, April 6, with a public announcement (alerting the non-curious) probably on April 10. What that basically means is that we'll probably cease active development by April 3 (allowing enough time for testing and building). This means Matt's schedule clears up a bit after April 3 (although there are still plenty of things going on and to do), so I should be able to spend more time with my girls for a while before Beth goes back to work (which I know she misses). After about May 15, I pretty much focus on new features for a late summer release. After May 1, almost all of our clients are in their busy season (through mid-July), so the first two weeks in May mostly deal with support issues. After that, most are used to how things operate and it quiets down quite a bit.

That's one nice thing about working in the Ag industry as a developer -- my 'free time' actually coincides with our users busiest times, which just happens to be during the early to mid summer. That's nice for two reasons -- I can enjoy more summer time without the burden of strange deadlines, and I can focus on things I normally can't work on unless there's nothing else to do. It also really works out nice because Beth has summers free. Go me. :)

Anyway, I'll leave it at that for now. I've got to be at least a little productive today -- especially if I want to not be at my desk all day tomorrow and Friday. :)

Until next time...

--MZ

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Very Long Tuesday

Well, it's nearly 11 now, and I'm finally getting a chance to sit down and make a quick entry. I intend to write more, and I likely will do that sometime tomorrow. Many things happened today; Kirstin had her first doctor's appointment (two weeks), and all is well (more details to come). I had a meeting tonight which meant I stayed at work late (which was productive), but since the meeting ran late I didn't get home until after 9.

Since the council has to serve dessert after tomorrow evening's service, I had to swing by the grocery store to pick up chocolate chips for the bars which I then made upon return home. Nothing quite like baking at 9:30PM. :) But, it made the house smell good, so I can handle that.

Anyway, I'll write more tomorrow and be a bit more rambly. In the meantime, I'm heading for bed.

Until then...

--MZ

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Long (And Productive) Day

I wasn't really intending today to be as productive as it ended up being. That might sound a bit odd (and admittedly it is), but I got quite a few things done (namely at work) for being a Monday. I guess things just clicked. Of course, the fact that I spent the entire day at the office helps that factor, I suppose. :)

Beth spent most of the day correcting papers again, for what apparently is a Wednesday deadline. Kirstin helped out some as well...spending most of her day on the couch next to Mom. I have some pictures that Beth took on Flickr of her laid out on the couch. Good times.

It was a fairly warm day today, although I thought that personally yesterday (Sunday) was warmer. I think the breeze really did it for me. Ah well, it is March, after all...some weird weather is inevitable. We had some killer fog last night that started rolling in around dusk (I got some pictures of it). I ended up getting up in the middle of the night and during the span of my bathroom trip at that time (somewhere around 4am), I couldn't hardly see across the yard. But, by the time I actually got out of bed (when Kirstin finally woke up around 7:30), the sun was shining mightily and had burned off pretty much all the fog.

I ended up spending some time on the couch with my girls this evening, which was a welcome change. Really didn't take any new pictures (aside from the obligatory daily picture), but that's alright. There wasn't much to take pictures of this evening. A few people to whom I've mentioned the daily picture thing really like the idea [of the daily picture]. Of course, one of these people is a gal who is 85 now, I believe, and just had forty years worth of 8mm home videos converted to DVD. She understands the neatness (after the fact) of recording things. I only watched part of one DVD today (which spanned from about 1952-1963), but it was amazing stuff. Some parts more interesting than others, but really neat to see nonetheless. I love Cleone -- she's awesome. Just like another grandma, really.

I printed a few sets of pictures this evening, mostly for distribution to a select set of people. I intended to do it over the weekend, but a few of these will be hand-delivered tomorrow (Tuesday), so the need wasn't there to absolutely print them until tonight. Good times. I'm glad I actually get a little usage out of the color photo printer (which, oddly enough, I bought to use on a theatre project years ago) once in a while.

Anyway, that brings us to the now. Time to head for bed and call it a day. I've got a meeting to attend tomorrow evening, so I'll likely not be home until later tomorrow night. While that's alright, it makes for a long day when it's said and done. I'm glad I don't have evening meetings very often. :)

So, until next time...

--MZ

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

Well, I managed to get a few more pictures online. To be exact, it's around 175 more. There are some I've not yet uploaded (mostly because they'll be small sets and I didn't take the time to find them all), but the bulk of them are...and are available to view on Flickr.

I went through and did most of the maintenance on those pictures as well, with the exception of one set which will take a bit of time. Perhaps tomorrow. So that's a Good Thing, and it puts me over the 1,000 picture mark!

It was a pretty good Sunday overall. Kirstin was a bit fussy throughout the day, but when she would finally give up the fight to not sleep, she'd be out for some time. Good time to get caught up with a few things around here. :)

I made wild rice soup for supper tonight. Fantastic stuff. It's also good to make, because I'll have about three lunches out of it through the week...makes it worthwhile. And it tastes good, too.

There are a few things I didn't get around to doing today, but there's always tomorrow. :)

Speaking of tomorrow, I'm heading for bed. Until next time...

--MZ

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