Joe's New Blog

Nothing special, this is just my third effort at writing a blog about my life and what goes on in it: Hobbies, cooking, work, maybe the occasional book or DVD review, and so forth. Nothing really noteworthy, but this is sort of a little subset of my world...

Friday, October 29, 2010

So *that's* the issue...

Yesterday I took a little quiz-type thing on Facebook. It was an assessment of my "Autism Spectrum Quotient." The girlfriend had taken it earlier, and her result was a 23, which is apparently slightly "more autistic" than the norm. Of course, they mention that it's not a diagnostic, but it's part of a battery that they use to diagnose different disorders in the autism group. Most people with serious autism will score around 35 or so, and most men in the "normal" range score around 17. Me? I scored 31. The girlfriend laughed when she heard my score.

This morning, the girlfriend had to open again, so I spent a couple of hours trying to keep the little man entertained while tinkering around on the computer a bit. One thing that was mentioned on the Facebook thing was Asperger syndrome. I've heard the name, but really didn't know what it was. So I looked that up on Wikipedia while the little man roamed around and whoofed at the windows.

And reading through the Wikipedia article, I checked off most of the symptoms in my head, remembering things from my childhood and adolescence that matched the examples almost precisely. I'm pretty sure that if anyone had really checked me for it, I would have been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome as a child. And I'm pretty sure that I'm a borderline case even now. But I guess there are worse things to have...

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Well, at least the Rangers made it to the World Series this year. Looks like they're going to have to do something really fancy to keep from losing it badly, though. All the vaunted pitching and hitting are nowhere to be seen as they're getting their asses handed to them by the Giants. 9-0 in the top of the 9th. Way to pound the strike zone, boys...

And, what the hell, just for good measure, the Stars got beat 5-2 by the Kings. That puts them back a bit in the standings, too...

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I was going to get up early this morning and take the little man out for a walk. The girlfriend had to go in and open today, so it's just me and Ernie, and Kala upstairs, of course. But she doesn't do more than just come to the top of the stairs and meow for attention now that Ernie's here.

In any case, I was feeling tired when the alarm went off, so I wound up not getting up until the usual time. Little man and I played some tug and such for a while, but then he got to looking out the window and whoofing at whatever was walking by out there, so I figured I'd just sit here and play around on the computer and drink my coffee. I really should work on my music and such, but I just don't feel the motivation. I know, I always have something that I want to do "in order to get myself started," but I just don't know what that something is. I always feel so self conscious about my singing and playing any other instrument besides bass. Guess I'd better just suck it up and start trying to mix down some of the tracks and get the music out there. See what the world thinks...

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Monday, October 18, 2010

It was another mediocre sort of day at work today. I fell behind a little further on the filing, both because I showed up late for work and because they dragged me out of the file room early to go take a customer home. I don't really know if I'm ever going to get caught up in there again, but I guess we'll see. Driving was not too terribly bad. No real traffic and most of the runs were right here in Denton. That's always a good thing.

The girlfriend got off earlier than usual today because of the new hours for the sales departments at work. They weren't getting any sales calls for the 7:00 to 8:00 hour for the past month, so they've decided to go to winter hours a little earlier than they were planning. But her mom is staying on vacation a little longer than they had expected, so she's off feeding the fish and checking the mail now. I'm just sitting around watching the Rangers leading the Yankees, and tinkering a bit with some of my old songs...

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I woke up this morning to the beginnings of what appears to be another crap week. The girlfriend has jury duty this morning, so she had already left for the day. The guy who was here yesterday to trim the shrubs and such fired up his trimmer at about 8:00, which definitely didn't help me get any more rest than I already would have. And because of him wandering around outside and such, little man has been very unhappy all morning. Mostly he's just been sitting at the window, woofing and muttering, letting out the occasional bout of howling. It's been a pleasant, restful sort of morning...

Yesterday evening, we went to Hastings so the girlfriend could find a small-sized book to put in her purse for this morning. She was a bit concerned about how long she was going to be waiting to hear if she had to serve on a jury or anything, so she needed a little reading material which wasn't going to be inconvenient to carry around. She got her books and then we headed off to the grocery store to get a few things.

I got some more newspapers, even though it seems that I haven't looked for jobs in them the last several times I've bought them. I'm torn between trying to find a better job and just sticking this one out for a while until we can get approved to buy a house. Of course, I don't know if we're going to get approved on the kind of money we're both making right now, so it might just be one of those catch-22 types of things. In any case, I also picked up some food from the store, including a big package of chicken quarters. Those went on the grill last night along with some hamburger patties left over from the recipe the girlfriend prepared for next weekend's wedding. Overall, I think the chicken came out quite well. Nice crispy skin, but not too terribly dried out. It was all an accident, but a happy one.

I guess I should get ready to head out the door soon. Another day, another dollar...

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

So, it's been another fairly useless, fairly crappy sort of weekend. The Rangers managed to at least split the first two games of the ALCS at home with the Yankees, but now they need to go back and play three in a row in New York. One of the things that disheartens me a bit about their games is that they blew a 5-run lead in the 7th and 8th innings of that first game. They did manage to keep the Yankees down to only 2 runs in the second game, but they managed to make even a 6-run lead in that game seem like it might be a little precarious. I guess we'll see how they do tomorrow, when they play game 3 at Yankee Stadium.

Ernie has been down to the dog park both yesterday and today. The weather was very nice, and we had a few other places to go, so it was an opportune time to take advantage and get the little man a bit of exercise. Yesterday, the weather was particularly gorgeous, so we expected to find the park full of people in the late morning. Instead, when we got there, the little dog section of the park was entirely empty. We hadn't ever brought him over into the big dog area, mostly because he's always been so docile with other dogs. But after pretty much sitting around for a few minutes with nothing at all happening in the small territory, we took the plunge and let him run with the big dogs.

It turns out that he did just fine. He mostly just puttered around like he usually does. He makes friends with the people and mostly just ignores the other dogs. I'm not entirely sure that most of them know what to make of him, since he just sort of shuffles around like a big furry tank. In any case, we were both quite happy to see him do his normal thing in this new territory, but we're hoping we don't really have to take him back to the large dog section in the future.

After the dog park, we went down to the girlfriend's mom's house to feed their fish and pick up a couple of folding tables and chairs for a wedding we're attending next weekend. Unfortunately, her sister-in-law had not yet returned most of the said tables and chairs to the mom's house, so it was in large part a wasted trip down there. But that's all right. We still had to feed the fish, and the little man still got to get out and run around in the back yard for a while.

After we got back home, we had to get ready to go to a combination Halloween party and baby shower. Because of that combination, everyone was supposed to go in costume, but the little twist was that each costume was supposed to incorporate a pregnancy. The girlfriend and I were going to go as Lucy and Desi, but I really have nothing at all in common with Desi, so instead I went as the grim reaper. Of course, it was a pregnant grim reaper. So, as one of the other guests mentioned, I was sort of the whole circle of life all rolled into one.

The shower/party ended up going a lot longer than we had expected, so we didn't get home until about 9:30 in the evening. By which time I was pretty well exhausted, not being used to the whole baby shower experience. I actually spent about the last half of the shower trying to keep myself awake. In any case, it doesn't seem that anyone noticed that I was nearly nodding off, which was good.

This morning, I slept in a lot later than I expected. On Friday, I won tickets to go see the Schola Cantorum of North Texas perform at a Methodist church down in Fort Worth, so we had planned to head down there in the afternoon and see that. We decided to go back down to the dog park in the morning, though, since we expected to leave him in his kennel by himself for a fair chunk of the afternoon. It was another nice day today, and we were pleasantly surprised this time to find a large number of little dogs in that section of the park. We thought we were only going to stick around for about half an hour or so. It was about 1:00 when we got there, and the show we were to see began at 3:00. So, with driving time and getting dressed and such, we figured leaving there by about 1:30 would give us enough time. But we wound up having so much fun talking to the various people and playing with their dogs that we stayed until closer to 2:30. And so, we didn't make it to the show. But we've found out that one of the couples, who have a tiny little corgi named Conchita, are probably going to be there next Sunday around the same time, so maybe we'll have an ongoing play-date for Ernie. We'll see.

Since we got back home, I've been mostly watching football, as well as tinkering a bit with some of my music. We didn't have band practice again this weekend, because the drummer (who hosts) has a work project that he's preparing for. I'm hoping to get together with the guitar-playing brothers sometime this next week, but we'll have to see about that. For now, back to football and MIDI...

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Work was fairly productive the last couple of days. Today it was good because I didn't have much new filing to do. Yesterday, I just didn't have much driving to do, so I was able to go catch up on some of the file backlog. Today I had a couple of long drives, but nothing all that terrible. It's just that the traffic coming back up the freeway was worse than usual, so what should have been about an hour's drive instead wound up being more like an hour and a half. And that definitely eats into the day.

Yesterday after work, I met the girlfriend and Ernie at the dog park. He seemed to be a bit more energetic there than he has been on most of his previous outings. He was scampering around trying to keep up with some of the faster dogs, and generally he just seemed to have a good time. I wish we had a little more daylight after work so we could take him down there more often. Just another reason why I should be looking for a new job.

Haven't done much on the music front for the past couple of days. Again. Of course, I haven't done that much of anything productive for the past couple of days. I did cook dinner today. Sort of a oriental-ish gravy type thing over rice. It wound up being a lot more salty than I'd intended, but I guess it was all right. And now, since it's getting fairly late, I do believe I'll head off toward bed...

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Monday, October 11, 2010

The girlfriend had to open this morning, so I've been trying to keep the little hound at least somewhat amused since I got up an hour or so ago. I got him a new harness-type device yesterday at Petsmart, to try to keep him from pulling quite so much when he's walking, but I haven't tried it out on him yet. It's called the Gentle Leader, and it has a loop that snaps up over the top of the muzzle, but leaves his mouth free. Then the leash is attached to that muzzle loop, so when the dog pulls away, his head is turned back toward toward you by the pressure on the muzzle. You don't really have to pull back on him at all, because he's the one causing all the tension on his face. We're hoping that'll help cure him of his tendency to pretend that he's a sled dog doing the Iditarod.

We actually did quite a lot more shopping than I really expected yesterday. Or at least I spent quite a bit more money than I really expected. We had lunch at RG's Burgers, which has always been a pretty decent place to eat. Not really so much any more. Better than fast food, but only just. And the surly little boy who served us was quite lucky that the girlfriend paid for lunch and not me. He wasn't rude, per se, but he was just right on the borderline. Kind of plunked the food down on the table and was already walking away as he muttered, "Enjoy your meal," under his breath. She gave him about a $3.50 tip on an $18-plus bill. I was just going to leave a $20 and call it good. I think that 15% tip is based on decent, pleasant service. Not necessarily going out of the way to be overly jubilant or anything, but just a smile, actually sounding like you give a rat's ass if your customer is enjoying the food, that kind of thing. And I just don't really think that kid earned that kind of tip at all. Hopefully we'll be able to find a decent burger joint sometime soon, because RG's certainly isn't Really Good any more...

After lunch, we headed over to JC Penney. They were having some decent sales on menswear, and I needed to get some stuff to go with the suit I bought a few weeks ago. I never realized it was going to be quite so expensive just to attend a wedding. Because they had a lot of their ties and belts on sale, buy one, get one half off, I figured this would be a good time to stock up a bit. I had to get a shirt, tie, belt, and dress socks for the wedding, and I wound up getting another casual belt and a second shirt and tie because of the sale. In all, it ended up being about $120, which I know isn't all that bad for all I got, but it was still a fair bit more than I expected to leave there. Now I just need to find somewhere else to wear a suit and tie...

Following that little shopping episode, we came home and got the little man. It was off to Petsmart to get him some food. Most of his regular people weren't there at the store, but he did get the chance to talk to some of the customer's and their pups. It wasn't exactly much of an adventure, but at least we got him out of the house. I also got him that harness and a new rope toy, and I got Kala stocked up on canned cat food.

A quick stop at the grocery store, and it was back home. I spent most of the evening watching more sports. We actually listened to the end of the Rangers' game in the car on the way down to the girlfriend's mom's house. They lost again, and now have to go back to Tampa for game 5. I have the feeling they're going to blow it again, but I guess we'll have to wait until Tuesday to see. I didn't work much on music again. This evening, I really need to buckle down on some of the things I'd like to get done. For now, though, it's off to work...

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

I slept in late this morning, and now I'm sitting here watching the Rangers play the Rays. They looked like they were going to win yesterday, but then pretty much gave up the game in the last couple of innings. And now they've fallen behind and been looking bad today. So it looks like the series will probably go back to Tampa, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if they managed to blow it in the first round again this year. Although it does look like the Rangers are managing to put together a little bit of an uprising here in the 6th inning. Maybe they'll manage to turn the tables on the Rays today like the Rays did yesterday.

The girlfriend and I are getting ready to head off to lunch and maybe do a little shopping, so I guess I'd best sign off and head out the door...

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

I spent another Saturday morning at work today. It's a pain in the rear, but it's a few more dollars in the old paycheck next week. I still wouldn't mind find a job that got me a bit more money without having to work so many hours, but I guess that'll have to wait a while yet. I do need to make sure I get my transcripts pretty soon, though, so I can get myself back into college for the next spring term. While I really don't have any problem with the job I'm doing right now, I realize that I can certainly make a whole lot more money with the same effort doing some other things. I just really don't know what the hell I want to do...

The girlfriend had to work all day today. She was going to split the day with the other regular operator, because their backup person was gone for the weekend. Of course, with the other regular person being sick the last part of the week, that just left her to cover the whole shift. Kind of sucks, but again, we're just looking forward to having the extra money on the paycheck next week.

I've spent most of the afternoon alternately watching hockey and college football, playing pinball, and working a bit on my music. I'm waiting for the Rangers game to come on later this evening. Hopefully they'll manage to complete the sweep of the Rays, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

The band was supposed to get together this afternoon, but there were some personal things that one of the guitarists had to deal with this weekend, and currently the other guitarist is relying on him for a ride, so we called it off for this weekend. Hopefully get back together and get some serious work done next weekend. In the meantime, I've been trying to work on a few of my own little pieces of music, with some mixed results. I think I'm doing a little better on vocals than I have been recently, but it's still something that needs work. In the meantime, I guess I'll tinker around with a few more of my songs now...

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Another day of work done. Glad to see that the Rangers won the second game of their series. Maybe they'll finally manage to get that monkey off their backs, being the only team in the major leagues to never have won a playoff series. I guess we'll see this weekend, when they come back home to Arlington.

Work has pretty much been crap for the past couple of weeks. Last week, I covered for one of the other drivers, so I was working 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. all week. It meant a decent paycheck yesterday, but it also meant that I was dead tired by the end of the week. It also meant that I wasn't really doing very much of my filing, so now I'm about as far behind as I've been since I started that job. I've been trying to get down there during my driving time for the past few days to get caught up, but without much luck. Then yesterday, they just kept adding more and more runs to the list, and I ended up not getting back from the last run until about 7:20. Got back to a dark office, but at least they'd pulled up the customer's car. It's the least they could do. Actually, it probably was about the least they could do. Minimal effort is the policy at work...

The girlfriend has been having schedule issues at work lately, too. The other phone operator has been sick off and on for months, and she's having another set of issues now, so the girlfriend has been having to open for the past couple of days. On the plus side, she gets off work earlier, so she has more of the day when things are open and it's light outside. But it's kind of a pain when the schedule keeps changing. She's closing again tomorrow, then working Saturday. It'd be nice if she actually had a set schedule, which really did stay the way it was planned for more than a week or two at a time...

I haven't worked on any of my music for the past couple of days. Same old issues. Got to work on that more...

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So, once again I haven't been blogging all that much. No big loss to the literary world, this. It's just mostly been more of the same. I do have something of a band together now, although there might be some problems with that, too. And I've been working on trying to re-learn some of my own music that I wrote ages ago, but which I've since long forgotten. I have the melody for one tune back under my fingers, and I think I have the chord progression for another back on paper, but it's been slow going. Much of which, of course, is because I don't work on it enough. In any case, I'm off to work now. Hopefully this evening I'll spend more time on the music...

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