nimitzbrood: (Default)
( Feb. 9th, 2014 07:47 am)
So as of Friday that was officially the last day our company had a physical office presence. We are waiting to see if the bid on the new office is accepted. If so that means we'll have an office in downtown Chicago for client meetings and company functions. Regardless that means we're working at home from this point on.

Not a bad thing as we're getting to expense out several things that shall help greatly. And I won't have to really drive anywhere so that's good.

Still that means I have a lot of work to do today. I need to dig out the path to the garage so I can put the boat motors that are in the basement out there and bring the couch that is out there into the basement. Then I have to dig my way to the shed and unbury and set up the two desks in there so I can get all my monitors working with my notebook. (For the record I'll be up to 5 total for one machine.)

That means I won't be able to plug in the heater but since I put the register into the heating duct it's only a degree or two shy of 60F down there now. And the colder it gets out the warmer it gets down there because the furnace runs more often. That said I'm going to put a second register down there in the other run so it adds just a little more.

Finished Chapter 10 of Becoming Twilight and posted it last week. Starting to get into the swing of things again but still slow going. I have to figure out where I'm going with Conversations with Raava as well as all the other stories I've let sit fallow.

Got a second Barnes and Noble gift card from my in-laws yesterday for my birthday. As I was within range of a store I ran over and got myself one of the nice hardback versions of The Hobbit (the green version) and a five book set of the Percy Jackson novels. (I put $25 on the credit card to do that but that should get easily covered by my expense check when it comes in.)

Currently driving on a donut still. The one tire that had broken a belt finally gave up the ghost and broke the bead on the rim. Gotta find a new tire come payday. Hopefully that won't be too expensive. I should buy two but that's likely not gonna happen.

Iritis is all but gone. Still on steroid drops but weaning off. Two a day for this week then one a day for next week then done. After that I go back for a visit and among other things get an updated prescription. Thinking about trying contacts again so I can use conventional eyeware things like sunglasses and such. Contacts have come a long way since when I first tried them as a kid so I'm hoping it'll be a totally different experience.

All of the above aside I really just want to go back to sleep but I can't do that. I need to get moving for a lot of reasons. It sucks but I haven't really had a break since Winter Solstice and am not likely to get one until after March 1st as I'm on call again. Still if I can actually motivate today despite the cold I should be able to get things done.

But honestly I'd love to stay inside and read my books with some hot chocolate.
So many things afoot at our household. That and work is why I haven't been posting.

Work itself seems to be going well but busy. Looking forward to several things including another visit from my friend from Tokyo among other things.

Mundania abounds it seems. Had to move my boat into the driveway today as I got a letter from the city saying it had to be off the grass. Thankfully we have the space to do that. I talked to the inspector and she said that as long as it's on a hard surface that the grass can't grow through it is acceptable. So seeing as I'm going to go with raised beds anyways that means I can put down landscape fabric and patio stones behind the garage and store it back there. Will also likely winterize and store the bike back there as well once I'me finished working with it. Need to call her back and confirm my suspicions that a pole and fabric structure is not considered permanent. If that's the case then I'll put up one of those temporary tent style garages back there and that will keep the weather off the boat and bike and I won't have to get expensive covers for them.

Speaking of money have to spend more of it on the Neon as it is required to have an emissions test in January. Kind of annoyed by that as they sent out a letter a couple of years ago that they will not be testing anything older than 2000 and Dorothy is a 1998.

I should be out repairing the brake line on my truck but I'm sitting here listening to a jiggle canner. Today's canning is three quarts of chili without beans, two quarts of water, and two experimental quarts of unsweetened green tea that I cold brewed. Not sure how that last one is going to come out but if it works then I can make and store up green tea indefinitely and save myself a lot of time. (I drink a LOT of green tea daily.)

Finally got us switched over to Comcast Business Class for our Internet. All the servers and DNS are all moved over and so far things seem to be working without issue. In our area at least Business Class and Residential use two different support groups so the experience is VERY different. And I'm paying what I was paying with the other DSL service and getting 15x more speed. And for those of you techies out there that run your own equipment they will put the router in Bridge Mode if I ask. :-)

Still no word on if the office is moving or not. Hopefully we'll find that out soon. The one lady at the office said that if they sell it likely means working completely at home for up to a year. I can easily work with that. With the upgraded connectivity and a Skype phone number I can forward my work line to it seems to function quite well. Some odd issues related to Skype but nothing I can't take care of.

All that aside I'm going to focus on getting at least the basics resolved in the basement and move my computer space down there. That way I don't have to heat the workshop as much during winter. (We used 1300 therms last February) Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to be able to get the large computer rack down there without altering the door. I may have to just build one in the corner. I've got another rack that might fit but it has no sides and is about twice the weight. Time will tell. Cleaning up any moisture and electrical issues down there come first though.

Things I've been reading....some of it is fanfic from MLP:FIM circles but two books I read and loved were the Order of the Air books by Melissa Scott. Well worth reading. Also just bought and started War Maid's Own by David Weber. We'll see how that one pans out. I'd like to read more Seanan McGuire stuff but I'm so far behind it isn't funny. The last book I read by her was A Local Habitation. I just can't afford to pick them up right now. Hopefully I'll be able to pick a couple of her books up by Yule.

Money seems to be getting a little better but I'm not going to focus on that. I'll just keep holding back on most of the spending and keep moving forward. Patio stones and exhaust parts for Dorothy are high on the list of next things to buy. Just keep plugging away at it...

Anyways I'm going to go back to listening to the canner jiggle and I promise I will try and post more often. :-)
So as of this morning I've decided I will never again buy store bought marshmallows. My wife and I made a double batch of one of the millions of simple recipes found on the Internets. I powdered them this morning and tasted one and OMG! Awesome! Going to attempt to cover the one batch with chocolate. (If I can properly temper a bunch of semisweet chips today that is.)

My neighbor was kind enough to give me a spare regulator for my grill and I replaced the burners on it so now able to grill stuff again after years of nor having one. YAY! Grilled some corn on the cob yesterday that was WONDERFUL! Also some baked potatoes that my wife didn't get any of.

Going to start using that grill like there's no tomorrow as long as I can afford vegetables. I love grilled vegetables.
Speaking of vegetables... )
So my friends and I went camping this last weekend and while it was colder than we've ever had on a Memorial Day weekend camping trip it was fun just to hang out and relax.

That said coming back to work on Tuesday was brutal. Tons of stuff to do and compensating for other people still taking time off made it particular challenging but I got through it. And I'll continue to get through it. Just the way I am. Could use slightly more leisure time but so can everybody else.

A friend has so far gifted me three different Steam games that I've only played a little of each. I really would like to spend a whole day playing games but that's unlikely to happen. Anyways all of them play well on my work laptop which has awesome Nvidia graphics in it to the point where the rendering of Bioshock Infinite looks just like the trailers. (The desktop gaming machine does full speed rendering but the graphics card has some angular mesh to it when playing that game. *shrug* Still a beautiful game regardless.) And both systems render XCOM just fine. The problem as usual is time.

Didn't get any writing done while camping like I wanted. I did manage to absorb a few more stories from my Kindle. Even with the case that has the LED light in it running for several hours it hardly touched the battery. And it's not even close to full yet and Amazon has plenty of free book offers from time to time so unless I want to read something in particular I'm not really spending any money there.

Dorothy is not quite fixed. The caliper has been replaced but I'm still experiencing symptoms. (Yes Mashblock the hoses are next. :-) You'll be happy to know a mechanic friend of mine also suggested the same.) I'll see if I can't squeeze one or two of those into this check but right now I'm very focused on getting bills beaten back to some reasonable level. (Medical bills suck.)

Making my own iced tea bottles to take to work. Both sweet and not. I have plenty of plastic bottles free since I am not set up for brewing yet so I'm able to use those. Cold brewing them with a teabag in each overnight seems to work quite well. And is fantastically cheaper. So there's a win there. :-)

Not running in the Urban Warrior Dash. None of us from the office can make it that weekend as there's a work related thing going on for one of our customers. Thankfully because of that we can expense the fee out. Hopefully we can get into the regular one in August but we're also looking at alternate courses. Turns out there's quite a lot of them.

Time to try and get some sleep now...
11:44 AM 03/17/2012

So really screwed up at work this last week. I forgot that the quality of the conversation with the client is often more imporatant than getting all the callbacks done in an emergancy situation. I know exactly where I screwed up and am taking steps to correct it and have indeed written down the exact failure points. In fact I'll likely turn them into a KB article for work that covers handling the phones and board during an emergency.

Speaking of which I'm on track writing a bunch of KB articles and SOPs for work so that new people can handle the simple things and I can focus on the more difficult problems. I'm not concerned about being replaced because all the other people are doing this as well and it's so we can all cover each other's tasks. Not a problem. I and the other guys are all master techs and some of us are known for being better at certain things than others and all this stuff is just basic fix-it stuff that can easily be handed off to make our load a little easier.

And load is really part of the problem here. My numbers are up and down glucose-wise and I know it's due to stress. I'll be able to handle it because I know I can but I've got only about 3 more months before I see the doc again and I need to handle it before then. And that adds to the stress...which changes the number...which adds to the stress....*insert timey wimey ball here*.

Went to the Goodwill today and found one of the inexpensive cascade fountains that I like for $9 when it would normally be $30. It works fine but is loud when empty so I can only think that was the reason it got donated. It'll likely go on the mantle or out in the workshop. I've missed the sound of running water.

Making progress getting things done arouns here. Not fast but steady. Already planning on getting a battery backup for the satellite multiplexer and the DSL modem among other things. Hopefully put that in today. Also making progress on getting all the servers out into the workshop but due to the weather I'm going to need an exhaust fan out there very soon. And I'm definitely going to have to run the A/C unit out there this year. I'm hoping we can get Central Air this year and then I can dedicate the 1200 unit to the workshop.

Speaking of weather it looks like I'm going to be planting extra early due to the strange weather. That also means that the summer is probably going to be quite a bit hotter than usual.
11:31 AM 02/22/2012

So the new job has kept me busy busy busy. The only reason I've got a chance to post right now is I had to take the morning off because my daughter got sick on the bus this morning and that means she can't be in school according to the rules.

She's sleeping quietly on the couch now and will likely be fine tomorrow. (I just woke up from a preemptive nap myself. I've been running a little stretched lately and definitely was able to use the extra sleep. That will get cleared up here soon enough as things at work are going well and I will be doing a little more dispatch and scheduling and a little less technical work. The two are supposed to be mutually exclusive and the former definitely doesn't happen as much after-hours as the latter.

In other news I reclaimed a laptop from a co-worker that had a bad motherboard. It almost wasn't worth repairing but my neighbors had me order a replacement motherboard for their laptop and I got a deal and was able to get the board for this one as well. Now all it needs is a new battery. It's a Dell Inspiron E1505, 15" Core2Duo, 2gig ram, and it was able to just up and run with my existing SSD installed with Mint 11 Linux on it. That laptop can also be upgraded to a 2.35 Ghz chip pretty cheaply but even with the old 1.6ghz and the SSD it just seems to fly. Faster than the 2.16 ghz C2D of the same year. Very strange.

Managed to get the garage connected with the house via gigabit ethernet cable. It's not pretty because I have blue Cat5E strung arially from the house to it but it works thankfully. With time and money this spring I'll get the yard trenched and a pipe put in between the two places and that'll be a great improvement. In the meantime if I find a cheap price on fiber and gbic connectors that arial cable may turn from blue to orange. What I'm most worried about with that is local lightning. If something hits close it will easily induce a current in that wire and probably kill the two switches at either end. Then I'd have to buy gigabit switches as well.

As for other things our daughter is gettng more used to not getting her way but it's still the typical teenagerism. Went to play Mahjonng at a friend's house and half the time she kept asking us if we were ready to go. That didn't work so she was a little perturbed but she didn't have a full scale meltdown so that's good.

Slightly irritated that I haven't started any seedlings yet. I've been so busy with work that I may have to just order starter plants this year. I _WILL_ have a garden this year dammit. Still really itching to have some sort of hydroponics setup but until I get other inside things taken care of that's not happening.

We're getting almost three grand back from the taxes this year (even some from the state) and while a chunk of that has to go to the mortgage this month some of that is definitely going into house repairs. Maybe I'll finally be able to buy the bags of concrete I need to fill that hole in the basement wall and start finishing out that space. That would be awesome.

Well my daughter is up and showing signs (and sounds...ugh) of still not feeling well. It's probably just the 24 hour thing my wife had the other night so I'm not too concerned. And my wife just arrived with food so I gotta go so I can get back to work. Later!
03:32 AM 12/27/2011

So...awake again. This time I went to bed at around 11:00pm and woke up around 3:00am. And my mind is already full of things from work. Wonderful. (Oh and the title is just a title. No wife issues here.)

Not a bad thing really as it's been a long time since I had things from work to focus on. I've got a few tasks I'm behind on but I really need to run them by others to find out what the company procedure is about them. I'll hopefully do that today.
Cut to spare people from my rambling... )
15:06 PM 10/09/2011

So this public post is to inform all concerned among family and friends that I'm currently not working again. I will not go into details but likely something will come along soon. With the feedback I got from my previous client my recruiters will have NO problem finding another position for me. I told them for now that I just want to take short jobs again for a while. (I really really liked that last position. :-( It'll take me a while to recover from that.)
We're OKAY. )
Working hard in the call center (pic related) and sometimes the calls are damn long.

I had a 2+ hour one today as well as an hour long one. Other guys seem to be getting huge amounts of calls where I seem to be getting the ones that require long periods of step through and hand-holding.

It doesn't really matter to me because I honestly enjoy helping people but I really have to learn to get up out of the chair and walk around a bit while on those calls. Thankfully we're using Bluetooth headsets so that's not a big deal.

Needless to say I really need to eat better at this job. Today I had some horrible cramps that were likely from how much bad food I've been eating the last couple weeks. I've got a craving for chop suey or beef and broccoli over rice. I may yet go out and get some.

But so far despite putting my foot in it and making a major mistake earlier this week I'm still employed and doing well. And frankly I'm enjoying the job. to see if there's still a Chinese place open this late...
11:20 AM 06/23/2011

Done with work for the week. Applied to three more jobs this morning. Only one of them got back to me and that was only to tell me I didn't qualify for the position due to FAA requirements. No big.

I start another temp job on Monday that should last at least a couple of days. Turns out it's right across from Fry's. Dangerous because I really really want RAM for the Ubuntu desktop as well as a number of other tech items. Have to try not to go across the street when I'm done for the day. ;-)
Those...eyebrows... )
23:32 PM 06/22/2011

Finished another temp job today and it went pretty good. I'm glad to be working again despite some of the home issues it causes.

I've been wearing my wrist brace since the bunging I did to my wrist is finally healing. But while wearing it I keep wishing it had technology in it. A watch at least.
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor... )
07:13 AM 05/24/2011

Just a quick note to keep away the bankrupt pants...

On the last day of the temporary job through a recruiter. Not too bad. I'm hoping to get more jobs through them because they're a large firm and I've said I'll happily work short jobs as long as they keep them coming.

They've said that they get a lot of calls for short jobs where the client only wants someone to hang around a few days or a week and honeslty I'm okay with that. I kind of like the idea of doing a different job every time or so. Keeps it from being boring.

It's not 40 hours at the moment but I'm hoping it doesn't screw my unemployment. Thankfully there's a couple more contract jobs coming up very soon. Anything I can do to fill the pipe. And honestly if the jobs are interesting or even just temporary but boring I don't mind putting in a lot of hours. Being hourly rocks so much more than being salary.

In the meantime I've been experimenting with Sculpey clay for making odd trinkets and jewelry. It's pretty cool stuff but I wish I could find a clearcoat that doesn't smell. The one I have now looks like it has to outgas for a week or more before it doesn't smell like bad plastic.

I'd love to find a natural clay material that doesn't require a kiln and isn't "playdough" but there doesn't seem to be one. I wonder if my friend still has her kiln and wants to get rid of it...

Still wishing for a RepRap (3D printer) but those cost a good grand if bought complete so it's definitely out of my price range right now. Hopefully I can piecemeal one together as more money becomes available.
March 6, 2009 11:12 AM 3/6/09

So I’m not going to go into the details but things at work have gone a little more pear shaped than they were before. I’m not losing my job and I’m not losing any pay but there’s a whole host of other things that do not make me happy. Most of my posts will have to be made at night now - at least the ones of any worth.

We were talking about the 8+% unemployment figures today and it occurred to me that 1983 was about the time my father got laid off from a place just down the street from where I work now. I’m hoping history won’t repeat itself...

I did pick up something to play with though. A 25 pack of 7“ x 10” Fresnel lenses. They should arrive some time next week. Those will be interesting little tidbits and I’m looking forward to seeing how much heat one of those can produce under different lighting conditions.

That and I bought myself a new head basket along with spare visors and gloves. It’s a modular helmet which will be less troublesome due to my glasses. The spare visors because it’s an off-brand helmet so who knows when they will be available again. And the gloves just because.

I think I’ll set up my LED grow lamp and my pepper seeds this weekend so that can get started. I’m going to need those vegetables to help out this summer.

My time writing here is up...


nimitzbrood: (Default)
Mike Hebel


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