Thursday, November 29, 2007

Feelin' Stressed

I think my stress meter is running a little hot. I've been
trying to get my head around way too much at work, and then on
the way home my battery light came on. The last couple of hours
have been a circus of trying to replace the battery. We couldn't
get it out. Had to buy a new tool. Raced to the parts store to get
a battery, they even stayed open a few minutes late so we could get
it. Got the battery out, and couldn't get the new one in. It was
the wrong size. How can it be the wrong size? We gave the parts
store the correct information. Now they are closed and the
battery is out.

So search the web for a parts store that is open. Found one.
Cay just ran off to get the battery, hopefully they have it, and
it is the right size, and they close in 20 minutes. Grrr!
I have to be up at 6 am - have an 8 am meeting, gotta get this
fixed. And now the weather channel says the first big snow storm
of the season could clobber us on Saturday. Cay gets back, and
they tested the battery, it is fine. It might be an alternator
problem. So now I get to do driving roulette. Drive back and forth
to work in freezing weather, and hope I make it and don't get stranded.

I need a hot bubble bath and a beer. In any order.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Colds and Cold

I'm finally feeling a little better. The cold is almost gone, after
the obligatory 2 weeks. My colds are always 2 weeks long. Don't
other people get over them in a week?

Work is sucking up my life again. Too much to do, and I have to
get up extra early the next 3 days for training and an important
meeting. Makes me crabby, I hate getting up early. However both
things involve people on the east coast, so they don't think it
is so early.

It was 5 degrees out when I got up this morning. I pulled out
all the heavy winter coats, gloves, hats, and sweaters for the
first time this season. It is hard to admit that winter is here
already. Especially since there is no snow on the ground, it
just doesn't look like winter.

However I can feel the chill coming right through the walls in
my house. I keep finding storm windows we forgot to close, and
we sealed up one window that was letting in much cold air. I think
we're as closed up as possible, and it is still frigid. Too bad
I like old houses so much, they just aren't very warm! The same
goes for Minnesota.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The holiday is over?

Those 4 days off went so fast! I can't believe that it is back
to work tomorrow. I am still not totally well, but I felt better
enough today to work on putting Christmas lights up on the fence,
bushes and door outside. We decided to do it today, as this is
likely the last warm day we will see this winter. It was 51
degrees! It is supposed to be teens and 20's next week.

After a couple of hours I was so wiped, I lay on the couch and
willingly read some papers I had to get through for work. I was
going to blow them off, because I didn't feel much like working
on my weekend, but I really had to rest after that workout.
I have barely moved for the last 2 weeks due to my cold, so it
didn't take much to put me flat.

But the outside is now decorated, so begins the slide into
Christmas, which will also come too fast. Slow down, my life,
darn it!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The cat uses the exercise equipment...

The little tree

Starting Christmas

I just posted the latest Uncomfortable Questions show -
Interview with Michael.
I put a new opening theme on it that I wrote in GarageBand.
The original is 3 minutes long and I came up with a truncated 30
second version. It still needs some tweaking.

I think the show turned out well, my guest was so open, warm,
and human. I enjoyed doing the edit and hearing the show again.
I managed to croak out an intro and outro to the show, my voice
is still shot from the laryngitis, but at least audible. I wonder
if having a sore throat for 12 days is good?

While I edited, Cay got in a Christmas mood and put up the little
Christmas tree and decorated it. Last year we forgot to put it
up at all, what with my surgery and all, so this year we made
sure to remember to do it. He also made a steak and mushroom pie
with a low-carb crust mix we had. It was very good!

The roommate is running around like nuts. His band has two shows
tonight for their EP release party. He was handmaking the CD's
late into the night.

Creativity, Christmas lights and comforting food. It was a good day.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A quiet Thanksgiving

It was a quiet day. We made a turkey breast, low carb stuffing,
and had a little jellied cranberry sauce. It tasted enough like
typical Thanksgiving food, that we didn't feel too deprived.

Otherwise we watched videos, played games, sat in the hot tub
and watched the snow. It flurried for an entire day, coating the
ground and roofs in white. We kept the wood stove burning all
day to psychologically offset the snow and cold.

I rested a lot, trying to shake this head cold and laryngitis.
Still no luck. I feel about the same. I'm getting really bored
with being sick. Whatever, it was a day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nearly the Holiday

Typical "day before the holiday" at work. Everyone sort of
evaporated early to get on with the Thanksgiving plans. I
stayed late, trying to get caught up on the massive number of
documents I have to read over the next 2 weeks.

When I left work it was snowing! The most substantial snow
so far. It is only a dusting, but it actually stuck to the ground
for the first time this season. It warms up this weekend, so it
wont stay around, but it is hard to deny that it is winter
again.

I still have the laryngitis! This is the longest I've ever
had it. Usually I only get it for a day, but this has been
4 days now. I hope having 4 days off to rest will finally shake
this cold. It is still with me after 9 days, and doesn't seem
to be getting any better.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Yes it is gutters! Red, even!


Only a homeowner could get excited

So what's new in my life? Gutters!
After holding out for 8 1/2 years, I had gutters put on my
house yesterday. The basement started to get damp walls, and
everyone told me I needed gutters. The house didn't have any
when I bought it over 8 years ago.

I thought I might need some, but it is really hard to save up
money for something as unexciting as gutters. But I finally did
and there they are. I'm $1000 poorer, and you really can't tell
anything changed on the house.

Other than that, I had a spectacular case of laryngitis yesterday.
It was nearly complete, I couldn't get any sound out at all.
Which was amusing at all the meetings I had to go to. I still
have it today, but I can squeak out some sound.
I read that ginger tea helps the inflamed vocal cords, so
I've been drinking a lot of it. Oh, how exciting my life is!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Grlublg!

My cold took a turn for the worse today, darn it! Yesterday
I thought I might get over it soon. I now have a REALLY sore
throat, and laryngitis to boot. So much for doing an interview.
We scheduled it for Dec 1st, instead.

I guess I know how I'm spending Thanksgiving. In bed, I assume.
I have to get into work the next 3 days, but that will probably
set me back again. Ho-hum. I figured out that I have been sick
or layed up from some operation or another for about 1/3 of my
life. If one sleeps another 1/3 of your life - that means I've
only had 1/3 of a real life.

No wonder I'm so juvenile at my age! (I'm really only 17 by how
much life I've actually gotten to experience....)

Back to bed....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Back Home

So I did catch all my flights and made it home.
I went right to bed and slept for 10 hours. I didn't feel
well enough to go into work yesterday, but it gave me a
chance to work from home, catch up on all the work email,
and read a bunch of documents that I had been putting off.

Today I feel a little better. This isn't a very bad cold
so far, mostly annoying and tiring. I'm trying that
"Airborne" product that my roommate uses to fight off
colds. Of course you are supposed to take it right away,
and I didn't start it until I had the cold for 4 days.

I should be editing my next show and doing another interview.
But heck, that's what tomorrow is for.

The reds in Raleigh




I forgot to take pictures of the beautiful fall colors until we
were heading back to the airport. I just randomly snapped pictures
out the window, and my fellow travelers laughed at me and decided I was indeed a bad photographer. But this shows a little of the reds that were in full glory.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sick and tired in another place

So now I'm sick, and slightly drunk, and sitting in a hotel room
in North Carolina. My sore throat got much worse during the night
and kept me awake most of the night.

It was off to the customer for a full day of meetings from 8:30
to 6 pm. A very, very long day. Our darling SE stopped and got
me some cold medicine and sore throat lozenges. It helped me
survive the day. However it is 75 degrees and the fall colors
were quite beautiful.

Then we went to dinner with the customer, and I had much wine to
make me forget I was sick. It didn't make me forget, but I didn't
care as much.

Now I'm sobering up, and have to do more work tonight. And then
up again at 6:30 for another day of meetings until our plane
leaves at 4 pm. I wasn't able to check in for some reason, so
here's hoping I actually have 2 planes waiting for me tomorrow.
We are connecting through Missouri on the way back. I must have
been in Missouri before, but I don't remember it.

Back to work!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm somewhere...

I made it to North Carolina. The planes were on time, and it was
an uneventful trip. I think it is full autumn here, but it was
dark when we got in. I can't wait to see the fall colors in the
morning. The leaves are all pretty much gone in Minnesota.

I'm in some hotel room, and it looks like a hotel room. Nothing
exciting. Not like my jacuzzi tub and mirrored suite on the last
trip!

I decided to get a jump on my usual getting sick on every trip.
The minute I walked into the airport in Minnesota, I swear at that
exact moment, I got a sore throat. That is usually how my colds
begin, so I think I am getting one. I hope it doesn't go into
full production until I get back. What timing :(

I have to be up at 6:30, so I better go try to get some sleep -
something I find nearly impossible in hotel beds. I hope I wake
up and find I'm not sick. I have 2 days of continuous meetings
ahead, I don't have time to be ill! I wish you could schedule
being sick.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Back from a beer?

The writing muse must have come back from that beer; all but 2 of
the blogs I read had stuff written in them again this weekend. It
must have been one of those Novembers. People were sick, on
vacation, or otherwise distracted it seems. Hello everybody!

I did pack today for my trip on Tuesday. A friend dropped by, the
roommate passed through, I finished my Hamtaro game. It was over
60 degrees today, really great for mid November! I also bought a
case for my DS game system for the trip. Hopefully my DS wont get
stolen on this trip... (my last one was taken from my room on the
last business trip) Airports and planes are boring without a
distraction.

I have a long day of traveling on Tuesday. A small plane to Chicago,
and another one to Raleigh. The layover is short, so I got a very
small carry on bag, and I'm taking everything with me on the plane.
Coming back is 2 even smaller planes, changing planes in Missouri.
But everything is charged up and ready to go, (except me). I'm
ready for bed.... Night!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Where is everybody?

Ugh, what a week. Let's see, I've now lost 6 1/4 lbs in less than
2 weeks. I've been awfully tired and not feeling very good. I
have no reserves left at night, and have been going to bed early.
Partially due to the hunger, but mostly from way the heck too
much work.

I got one customer program off the ground and it is now proceeding
after a huge, frantic learning curve. I've nearly finished a 100 page
plan today that I have to send out on Monday for the people I'm
meeting in North Carolina on my business trip.

With what I learn on the trip, I'll probably have to write another
paper of at least that size. Then I need to get another program
up and running, and finish setting up 10 racks of equipment that
I haven't managed to get to since the move. Then a couple of more
programs.

When does the "resting on my laurels" part come in? And what are
laurels? A kind of shrubbery, I think. Doesn't sound very comfortable
to rest in one...

I should be editing another show, right now, but I think I'll end
up packing for the trip instead. This is nuts!

Weird thing, the 10 or so blogs I've been following, have gone dead
for the last week or so. I guess I'm not the only one. It is like
everyone stopped writing all together. Is everyone as busy as me,
or did the writing muse step out for a beer?

I feel a little unconnected. I guess reading blogs of my friends, some
on other countries, made me feel social. That I was keeping up with
my friend's lives, even though I wasn't seeing anyone. I wonder if
we use blogs as a shortcut, it saves time so we don't have to go out
of our way to make contact? This whacky modern world!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Shhhhhh

Working too hard. Be back soon.

(And lost 5 1/4 pounds since last Monday. Yay!)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Closing Down

We somehow overlooked that today we were supposed to go off
of daylight savings time. We first noticed when the cell phones
reported that they had changed. Usually the paper makes a big
deal out of it, and I hadn't noticed any mention of it. I had
to look it up on the web, to see if it had indeed changed today.

Today was preparing for cold weather day. This coming week
looks to be pretty cold, so it was time to do those closing
up the house
things. Remove the air conditioner from the
window, move the breakfast nook furniture in off the back
porch and set it up inside, put the flannel sheets on the bed,
buy a load of firewood and pick up a few supplies for the week.

We needed fire starers for the woodstove. We had been using
paper, which clogs up the damper screen. To buy fire starters
costs over $1 apiece which seemed to be quite a lot if you have
a fire everyday! I looked it up on the web, and they had several
"recipes" for homemade fire starters.

One was simply to soak dryer lint in candle wax. We actually
had a lot of dryer lint in a wastebasket next to the dryer.
So we got a block of candle wax and Cay made up a bunch of
lint balls on a cookie sheet. They look like some kind of grey,
hairy appetizer. But they work like a charm, and are very cheap
to make, just the cost of a block of candle wax.

The winds are supposed to start howling at around midnight,
bringing in the big cold front. We are as ready as we can be.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

And more about computers

I killed the whole day on computers. We had a struggle updating
Cay's ibook to Leopard. It crashed in the middle, and upon
reinstalling, it removed his administrator privileges! So it
was to the web, to figure out how to break in and reset
the password on the root account. That was solved, and he is
up and running.

We then played with lots more of the features. Last night we
did a video chat with one of our friends in Tokyo, so we
could try out the new features in that. Lots of fun! It is
so weird to see a house we stayed at in Japan, through our
computer. It seems like it is just around the corner, instead
of halfway around the world. This instant communication is
one of the coolest things about computers.

Then I decided to make a new banner for my website. Since I
don't have Photoshop, this involved downloading a freeware
knockoff, "Seashore", learning to use it, and learning to use
the program "Art Text" to do the lettering. I didn't find either
of them intuitive, but then, I've never used programs like
that before. I did get a new banner up for the top of my
www.uncomfortable-questions.com website. Look and be in awe!

Unfortunately you have to edit the template with HTML by hand
to do anything to that page, so the banner is all that will
happen to that. I thought putting photos of guests on that
page was ambitious enough. I keep hoping the hosting site for
the show will update their page tools, but they haven't
improved them in the last 2 years, so it is a hope in vain.

Maybe I should do something non-computer related tomorrow....

Friday, November 02, 2007

Leopards in November

I couldn't resist buy Leopard anymore, so I picked it up on the
way home from work. And spent the last 2 hours installing it and
trying it out. Except for a weird thing where it defaulted my
mail accounts to using authentication, when it should have said
"none", everything else worked fine. It took awhile to fix the
mail problem, but I'm running now. I can't tell if it is
much faster or cooler, yet.

Otherwise, trying to get my head around it being November already!
The weather will hold here until Monday - its been 50's during the
day and decent enough out. Then it drops to the 40's in the daytime,
and 25 or so at night. Luckily no snow forcasted for the next
10 days.

My business trip for work did get scheduled, so I'm off to North
Carolina on the 13th for a couple of days. At least its warmer
there.

I really want to lose 10 pounds before then, so I'm still dieting
like a fiend. I've lost 3 1/2 pounds since Monday, so I've got
a running start at it. I'm nearly dying of hunger and tiredness
from lack of food, though. It was a rough week - a real test of
willpower. I even managed to not eat any leftover Halloween
candy! I set the leftovers out at work by the coffee machine, and
they magically vanished withing the hour.

And that's all the news....