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, December 31, 2010

The New Year is nearly here. I've managed to accomplish just very nearly nothing with the past year, aside from eating up my retirement and generally wasting another 365 days. So, here's hoping that 2011 will be a better year than this one was. Can't really go too much further down hill...

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Today I spent about the first hour of work helping the lady in rental with the data entry stuff that I did yesterday. Then, when I finally got over to the file room, the service manager asked me to go see the IT manager, so I could help him out with something. It turns out that the something in question there was loading Windows 7 and some other software onto a laptop for the service department. Not really all that thrilling of stuff, and I couldn't complete the task because I couldn't connect to the wireless router to get to the internet, but I managed to get some of the work done, and I guess at least a toe is in the door with the IT folks there, as I didn't manage to screw anything up big time. We'll see what they have to say tomorrow, or whenever they get back to me.

Aside from that and a bit of driving, it was a pretty uneventful day. I started working a bit on a drum part when I got home, but I'm having a hard time getting the sound I want out of it. I'm trying to sort of replicate this cheesy little two-step country western beat that was on my first old drum machine, but I'm having a hard time figuring out the voices to use to get it. In any case, I think I'm done with it for tonight, so I should start getting ready to head off to bed and hit it again tomorrow. And I should practice a bit, since the band is getting together for practice on Saturday morning and I haven't really even listened to the songs for a couple of weeks...

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It was a rather unproductive day down in the file room today. In fact, I spent most of the morning doing the data entry that I was warned about a couple of days ago. All I had to do was enter all of the Cadillac rental agreements for the past month into this new system that they're using. I was not surprised that the managers were somewhat astonished that I got the whole stack of them done before I went to lunch. The fixed assets manager, who is manager over the service department and several other related areas, asked me whether I knew much about operating systems and computers and such. I told him what I'd done at my previous jobs, being half of the IT department, and he said that they might have me help out the shop foremen when they got new computers and had computer problems. So maybe I'll end up in IT by the back door again. I guess we'll see if the carrot gets taken away again...

After work, I stopped by Macy's and returned the jacket that I'd bought on Sunday. When I wore it yesterday, I stuck some snacks in one of the front pockets. Then when I went to get them out at work, one of the snaps came apart. The rivet itself came apart in the middle, although the parts that snap together didn't come undone. So I guess it was just a little more efficient than they'd really wanted at staying closed. I had no problems with the return, though. I went down to JC Penney to look at their jackets, but I didn't find anything I really liked. Guess I'll just have to brush my wool jacket a little more often to try to get the masses of Ernie hair off of it...

The girlfriend has to open at work tomorrow, so I guess I should get ready to head off to bed myself. I tend to wake her up when I go to bed, and that's not good when she has to be at work at seven in the morning. Anyway, off to the world...

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Today's been a fairly nondescript sort of day. The data entry work which I was supposed to start doing today has been postponed at least until tomorrow. It seems that, as usual, management didn't lay the groundwork for their proposed plan, so they didn't have the data that I was supposed to enter available when I was. So it was filing as usual today, instead. Which is good, because I don't know how long this data entry task will last, and I might wind up falling quite a way behind on the filing. We'll see, as usual...

The weather was pretty miserable today. It started out kind of misty and cold, just about what an Oregon winter day was usually like. By the time I got off work this evening, the rain was coming down quite steadily. We need some of it, though, so it's not necessarily a bad thing. I just wish I didn't have to walk around in it quite so much. Not to mention the driving.

I didn't do too much after work. I dropped off the utility payment at the landlord's office. Had leftovers for dinner. Gave Ernie something of a mini-bath. He stank, and it turns out it was because he had a crusty butt. We're going to have to pay better attention to that in the future. After washing him, I took a shower myself. I must say, the new shower head was a very good investment. I don't know if it was because of just that or because we hadn't used much warm water over the rest of the day, but the shower stayed hot for a lot longer than it has been recently, or so it seemed. I'm happy about that.

After the shower, I pretty much just lounged around, watched some TV, read some of the book Mom sent me for Christmas, and played a little bit of guitar. I should really reverse the proportion of those, because the guitar playing is what should really be important to me right now. I'm not going to ever accomplish anything with reading or watching TV, but the music could wind up getting me at least a little bit of something down the road. We'll see if I can do better tomorrow...

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Monday, December 27, 2010

It's difficult to get any kind of real purchase on your new resolutions when you oversleep by nearly an hour in the morning. I didn't get a great night's sleep, waking up several times over the course of the wee early hours of the morning. So this morning, it was incredibly difficult to drag myself out from under the nice warm blankets. So not much was done this morning, although we did manage to make it to work just a couple of minutes late, thanks to the light traffic on the roads.

Work was pretty much the usual stuff. I did get all of the filing for today done, and I did a little bit of catch-up work. I don't know if I'm going to be able to finish all of the backlog, which is what I had hoped to accomplish by the end of this week. At least I shouldn't get too much further behind, though. Although now that I recall, the service manager mentioned to me that they were going to have me do some data entry into the system tomorrow, so I might not really get much of a chance to do any filing at all tomorrow. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Also, the girlfriend might end up having to work on Saturday, even though it's a holiday. Management is discussing whether they want to open on New Year's day or not, and they don't really expect to have an answer until Wednesday. Great to have a little advanced notice, eh?

On the way home, some douchebag was tailgating us as the girlfriend came off the freeway. She moved over and let him pass, and then she stuck her tongue out at him as he drove by. He proceeded to swerve over in front of us and come to a stop, then kept moving back and forth as we tried to get past him. I was getting ready to call 911 to send out an ambulance after I got out and beat the fucker to death, but I guess he got tired of the game and took back off down the road. It makes me wonder about some of the people out there, when some minor thing like having someone stick out their tongue at you can cause someone to go off the deep end and start acting in a way that could cause someone serious injury. I do hope the fucker does that to an off-duty police officer someday and gets himself locked up for a few weeks...

After getting home, I emptied the dishwasher and helped the girlfriend do a little bit of other cleaning around the place. We have some guests coming over for her birthday brunch next Sunday, and she'd like to have the place looking a bit better. After the cleaning, I took the little man out for a walk. I took a couple of bags of recycling with me, and we walked down to the Cupboard, a natural-foods store that has a bunch of recycling dumpsters out in their parking lot. Ernie did well on the walk, but I found out after I got back that my pedometer had been askew, so it didn't record most of the walking I'd done. That route is usually about 1500 steps, and it logged only about 500. Oh well. I've been working on trying to get the count up to 10K anyway, and I should have it there by the time I go to bed.

The girlfriend was playing Wii when I got back. She was playing her dance game, but she doesn't like to play it when I'm around, so she stopped shortly thereafter. I played an 18-hole game of gold on the Sports Resort. It's the first time I've played the system in several months. Probably ought to play a little more often to make it worth having the thing.

I didn't really do anything musical at all today. One of the guys in the band sent me a copy of a new song he'd written. It just seems like I'm letting myself kind of get shoved into the background again, and it's just because I continually feel uncertain about my own writing and performing. Especially the performing aspect. I keep thinking I should just go ahead and sing, but it's tough to actually open my mouth and let my voice out, because I know it won't always sound great at first, and it might not sound all that great even after a while. But the only way I'll ever get better is to practice, so I should make that one of my priorities. Not tonight, though, because now it's time to go feed Kala and then head off to bed...

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

I'm trying to kind of start my New Year's Resolutions a little early, get a head start kind of, but I'm not doing all that great yet. We'll see how things go once the actual new year begins. I've been keeping track of my step counts for the past month or so, and my goal is 10,000 steps per day. So far, I've actually made it twice. I've come close a few more times. So, the 10K per day is a way off...

The musical goals aren't really that much better. I'm desperately hoping that I'll get up the motivation to do one song per month over the course of the next year, but considering that I haven't done one yet in the past couple of years, that's aiming pretty high. We'll see if I at least manage to get a few songs done, and I'm hoping to record something, just a little melody or bass part or something, every day of the coming year. I figure if I can record 365 snippets of music, a song has to come out of it sooner or later.

Today's the girlfriend's birthday. We went down to the dog park this morning, or more like early this afternoon. When we got there, there weren't very many people or animals around at all. We didn't see any of the regulars, but a few more dogs did trickle in over the hour and a half or so that we were there. It was a good time, and Ernie got to do quite a bit of running around with the big dogs.

After coming back home from the dog park for an hour or so, we headed out to do a little shopping. We'd both received some gift certificates and some money for Christmas, and we had a few things that we wanted to look for in the after-Christmas sales. I got a new jacket, some T-shirts, a desk calendar, a little pocket daily planner, a jar of herbes de Provence, and a new shower head for the bathroom.

Our current shower head, one of the type with the removable handheld sprayer, started spraying water out of the hose a few weeks ago. It's been getting worse, and it seems like recently the hot water has been running out very quickly. I think it's because most of the water is just spraying out of the hose, not the head. So I got us a nice double-headed unit, with the fixed wall head and a separate handheld sprayer, which can be toggled with a knob on the fixture. It's installed now, no dripping from the hose, and I'm hoping that my next shower will be a bit warmer than my last one was.

Anyway, I suppose I should go ahead and list out the rest of the resolutions, even though I'll probably not keep up with them very well. And then I should probably go clean up the mess I made cooking chili for dinner. And I need to do laundry for work tomorrow. Sigh...

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope any readers out there have had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family, and safe travels wherever they may have been. The girlfriend and I went down to her family's get-togethers the past couple of days. My mom spent the past couple of weeks up at my sister's house, but it's a bit too far away and the budget is a bit too tight these days for me to get up there to see them. They appreciated the gifts we sent, though, and we talked to them on the phone and via text message for the past few days. I do hope we manage to get ourselves moved back up to the Pacific Northwest soon, but that's going to make things a bit difficult for getting down here to see her family members. We'll work things out, though...

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