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...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weekends of January 22-23 and 29-30

Last weekend, I had to work Saturday morning. Nonetheless, we had a more active weekend than usual. After I got off work, we drove down to see one of the girlfriend’s nephews play basketball. He’s 8 years old, so it wasn’t exactly an offensive shootout or anything. Final score was 7-6, but his team won at least.

After the basketball game, we went to the birthday party for that nephew’s little brother. He was turning three, and it was a monster truck themed party. It was all right, although we were there quite a bit longer than we had really expected to stay.

This weekend, we went over to Scott and Betty’s house on Friday. Betty is one of the girlfriend’s oldest friends. Her husband plays guitar, and he has a couple of songs that he was interested in jamming with me on. So we played for a while, had dinner, and generally had some pleasant conversation.

And this morning we drove out to the dog park with Ernie. We only stayed out for an hour or so, despite the absolutely beautiful weather. The girlfriend didn’t have any sunscreen on, though, and we didn’t want her to burn to a crisp. In any case, though, the little man had a lot of fun running around with all the dogs out there, and we got out of the house for a bit.

For the past several days, I've been feeling rather unsatisfied with myself. I go to work, feel miserable there. I feel like I'm being walked all over, taken advantage of. I should be doing something better with my life. And then I come home and really don't do anything at all to better my situation. I usually sit around and watch TV. Maybe I'll plunk on a little bit of music, but maybe not. I really need to try to buckle down and do something productive every night, and I really need to get the balls to demand something better for myself at work.

I'm going to go do something now. I don't know what...

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Starting over...

So for the past couple of days, I really haven’t done much writing. I guess that’s a sign that I’m going to be starting this goal all over again, with the 24th of January being day one of the new journal year. We’ll see how far I make it this time around…

Sunday, January 23, 2011

January 21-22, 2011

Not great days on this goal. On Friday, the girlfriend and I stopped a couple of places on the way home from work, and then when we got home, she wanted to do some reorganization to the living room. That, combined with a serious lack of ambition on my part, kind of shot down most of the work on other goals for that day.

Yesterday, I had to work in the morning. Following work, we had quite a busy afternoon and evening. We drove down to see one of her nephews play a basketball game. His team won, 7-6. I guess you can’t really expect all that much offense from a bunch of 8-year-olds. After that, we drove down into Fort Worth to get one of her other nephews a gift card from the museum of science and history. We didn’t really recall the fact that the Fort Worth Stock Show was going on at the same time. We couldn’t find any place to park that wasn’t way too expensive. In the end, we wasted about an hour just driving around. Oh well. We went to the nephew’s birthday party after that and stayed there for a couple of hours.

By the time we got home, I wasn’t really feeling like doing very much of anything. I did stay up a fair amount later watching TV, but that was about all I did. So, I’d say it was about a 50% pair of days for this goal. Still trying to get better, though…

Friday, January 21, 2011

January 20, 2011

I think I crawled back up to about 90% yesterday on this one. I did get up when my alarm went off and immediately went and did the morning clean-up. I already had my bottle of water filled from the night before. I didn’t take it to work with me again, but I did drink it in the morning, at lunch, and after work, so I got the whole thing down well before I went to bed. Which was good.

The girlfriend said she was hungry, but we didn’t have much stuff around the house that was quick to make. So, on the way to work, we stopped at the donut shop and picked up a couple of kolaches and donuts for breakfast. Not the healthiest, but I’m still counting it.

I wrote my blog entry in the morning, then finished one of the old entries in the evening. I also gave away all my cheers here on 43Things in the morning and evening. And I emptied the dishwasher and folded up some laundry when I got home.

While sitting around watching a hockey game, I put a few more stitches into Mom’s cross stitch project. And then when the game was over, I made a couple of stabs at recording another one of the bass parts that I haven’t been able to get down really well. It was another mediocre recording, but it’s a little better than the best take I’d had before.

Before I went to bed, I went upstairs and scooped Kala’s litter box. I also made the coffee and filled my water bottle, which have become other little daily habits for me. I also need to check the mail daily, which I didn’t do yesterday.

So, once again, all I fully missed was taking recycling. Got to do it before it starts getting out of hand again…

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January 19, 2011

I did a little better yesterday than the day before. I’d call it about an 88%. I did hit the snooze one time after the buzzer went off. It was cold, and I was weak. But we still managed to leave for work nearly on time, so that’s all right.

I had my liter of water already poured, but I forgot it in the fridge when I went to work. But I did drink it in the evening. Probably a little too late, as I kept having to get up in the middle of the night to relieve myself. Breakfast wasn’t all that healthy, but I had a couple of breakfast bars. Probably have the same again today. I did do all my morning ablutions.

I wrote my blog in the morning, and then finished one of my draft entries when I got home after work. I also gave away something like 15 cheers here on 43Things over the course of the morning and evening. While sitting around playing on the computer, I also did a couple of stitches on Mom’s cross stitch project.

I cleaned Kala’s litter box entirely and took the used litter and some other garbage out to the dumpster. One little addition that I’d like to make sure I do daily is going upstairs and scooping Kala’s litter box. It’ll both make her happier and get me upstairs, so maybe I’ll do a little cleaning in the upstairs room.

Before going to bed, I got out the bass and got it tuned up. Then I took a couple stabs at recording the bass part for one of the songs that I’ve had some troubles getting down completely. It’s still not exactly the greatest bass part that I’ve ever played, but it’s better than it was. I’ll try it again tonight, and maybe it’ll turn into a complete song.

The one major thing missing was the fact that I didn’t take anything down to the recycle center. Of course, we took three bags down there the day before, but it’s supposed to be every day. So, more to work on today…

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January 18, 2011

I’d say I pretty much struggled to about 85% completion on my task list yesterday. I did get up on time, but we were in something of a hurry to get out of the house because the girlfriend wanted to stop at Hastings and pick up a couple more books in the series she’s reading. So while I did lotion up my legs and do a quick shave, I left without brushing my teeth. Also, all I had for breakfast was an apple fritter from one of the little convenience stores.

In the evening, I did do some stitching on Mom’s cross stitch, I finished one of my old blog entries and wrote a new one, and the girlfriend rode her trike down to the recycle center while I walked along with Ernie in tow. We completely cleared out the “other” bin, leaving just the plastic and paper bins. One of those will go this evening, I think. Also, I ran a load of laundry through the wash, for the “cleaning” entry. And, of course, I gave away all my cheers here on 43Things…

I didn’t record any music, but I did do some editing on the recordings the band made last Saturday and sent a couple of MP3s to the guys. And over the course of the day, I did drink my liter bottle of water. So, I’ll try to fill those couple of little gaps today and we’ll move on from there…

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I was sort of trying to keep up with this here on 43Things for a while, but lately I’ve just been posting the stuff on my blog. I’ve made it over a hundred days a couple of times, and I’m currently at about a month, but I’m still not able to keep it going for an entire year. Maybe this will be the year…

The weather forecast for today has been changed to morning showers and a high of about 54. So it shouldn't really be all that bad, but I'd still prefer the nearly 60-degree weather they were predicting yesterday.

Yesterday evening on the drive home, the girlfriend was asking me what I had planned for the evening. I was going to do some vacuuming and such, but she asked if I'd rather do that or just go take Ernie for a walk. She said that in that kind of division of labor, she'd rather do the cleaning than take the little man out walking. And I, of course, don't really care for cleaning all that much, so I'm happy to take him out into the world instead.

I did vacuum the stairway when I brought the vacuum cleaner downstairs. That's where Kala tends to sit and watch us, and all of her fur would probably have driven the girlfriend's allergies into immediate overdrive. I'm probably also going to have to be the permanent designated emptier of the vacuum, too, for about the same reasons.

After vacuuming, I took the little man down to the recycle place and deposited some cardboard. We went a couple blocks further than we usually do, but it still didn't get my step count up to the full 10K. I guess I'll have to walk a little further with him the next time I go.

Well, the girlfriend has slept in a little later than usual today, so I suppose I should go get her up. I didn't hear her alarm go off, so she may have forgotten to set it, or just turned it off in her sleep. Then it's off to work...

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Sort of a 43Things "sub-list"

For the rest of January, I’d like to try to do the following things every day:

1. Get up when the alarm goes off (at least when the buzzer does)
2. Drink 1L of water every day
3. Have something for breakfast
4. Brush my teeth, shave, and put lotion on my legs every morning
5. Take something down to the recycle dumpsters
6. Write a blog entry, and finish one of my old draft entries
7. Give away 5 cheers on 43Things
8. Vacuum, do some dishes, mitt the sofa, or otherwise clean some
9. Record something musical
10. Do a few stitches on Mom’s cross stitch project

I feel like if I do these things, I’ll kind of get in the habit of doing them, and maybe that will get me a little closer to the goals I want to accomplish.

Working on a couple of them...

I have two songs that I’m hoping to finish by the end of January. One is the song I wrote for my girlfriend about three or four years ago, before I moved here to Texas. Like a lot of musicians who aren’t primarily singers, I always feel very uncomfortable with my own vocals, so it’s taken me a long time to get those done. Well, it’s taken me a long time so far. They’re not done yet…

The other song I’m working on is a re-work of an instrumental bit that I wrote probably 20 years ago. Of course, when I originally recorded it, I didn’t have the software or hardware that I do now. I overdubbed all of the parts onto a little 2-input 4-track cassette recorder, bouncing the tracks back and forth over the top of each other. And when you do that on cassette, the sound quality suffers dramatically with each bounce. So I’ve pretty much re-learned the piece and I’m working on recording each piece, but I’m having a difficult time with the drum part. In the original, I used a Yamaha DD-3 drum machine. It had some cheesy sounds and some cheesy patterns, but they worked all right for me. That unit is long gone, though, and I don’t really have a drum library that has a simple country 2-step MIDI pattern with fills, intros, and the like. So I’m trying to cobble things together from what I do have, and it’s taking some time.

But we’re at least making some progress…

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I'm not feeling really inspired this morning, but I guess I'll make do with the situation I have. My step count has been down this weekend, so I've got to try to pump that up a bit. It's kind of a drizzly, foggy day out there today, so probably not going to be enjoying a lot of outdoor activity. I'll at least try to get a couple more things out of the old car, though. Got to get that thing out of there, plus I could use a little money from selling the thing off.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

It was a busy day today. We drove down to Lewisville and stopped by the girlfriend's mom's house, so the girlfriend could give her opinion on colors for the mom's new chair. While there, her stepfather asked me to look at some sound problems on his computer. That was pretty easy to fix, but he also said that he wants to upgrade his computer in the near future. It'll probably just be an upgrade to the hard drive, but we'll see what he wants to do with it.

After spending a bit more time there than expected, we drove down to Half-Price Books. I have a gift certificate and a couple of coupons there, and I usually find a lot of neat stuff when I'm there. This time around, I picked up a couple of Java programming books and three cookbooks. I probably could have spent quite a bit more, but I guess that's enough for one trip.

After Half-Price, we stopped at the Lewisville Sears to see if they had a replacement belt for the girlfriend's vacuum. They didn't. Then it was off to have a decent lunch at Olive Garden. And then on to the Denton Sears, which also didn't have the replacement belt. By then, it was a little later than we'd expected, so rather than finish all of our errands, we came back home to let Ernie out for his lunch and some running around time.

We left again after about an hour or so, taking Ernie with us this time. First we stopped at Michaels. The girlfriend went in and got some things that were on sale while I walked Ernie up and down the sidewalk for a while and then sat in the car and stayed warm and out of trouble. After she got back out of Michaels and we got some gas in her car, we went to Petsmart. Ernie has a bunch of people there who think he's just the bee's knees. All we actually got there was a laser pointer for Kala, but we did get to spend some time walking him around.

A couple of the workers there at Petsmart recommended this thing called the FURminator to us. It's like a fine-tooth comb designed for thinning the undercoat of long haired dogs. The girlfriend ran their sample through Ernie's hair once, and it pulled out about as much hair as three or four hard strokes with the regular brush would have. We've got the item on our wish list now. We would have just picked one up, but the smallest ones are about $40. The one that would be the best size for Ernie is about ten bucks more. One of these days we'll get one, but it's a bit tight right now.

After Petsmart, it was on to Kroger to get some groceries. I bought a little more stuff than what was on the list, but hopefully we'll use it all up before anything goes bad. Then it was home, where I watched the Seahawks get thrashed by the Bears. I'm a bit disappointed, but hardly surprised. I guess now I'll have to pick another team to root on to victory in the Super Bowl.

It's getting late, and it's another day of work tomorrow, so off to bed with me...

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Should have done this years ago...

...But at least I’m beginning to work on it. I found out that the local junior college still needs to get my transcripts from my old college (20-odd years ago in a different state), so I need to sit down and do all the paperwork to get those sent to me. That’s my sub-goal on this one for this weekend…

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Weekend of 1/14/2011

It’s Saturday, and I’ve already been out into the world. This morning, I drove down to practice with the quasi-band. And after I got back from there, the girlfriend and I drove down to the dog park and let our little corgi run around for an hour or so. It’s pretty brisk out there, but it was good to get out and talk to some folks.

Tomorrow we have some shopping and other errands to run, so it’ll be a double-outing sort of weekend…

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Well, I'd say I did moderately well with my goals for today. I did get up reasonably on time, and I did do all of my health and grooming things this morning. While I didn't go out in the morning and get any items out of the old car, I did get a couple on the way back home for lunch. Unfortunately, I didn't clean Kala's litter box, so that's something I need to add to tomorrow's list. Also, we didn't stop at the recycle place, but the girlfriend wants to get all of that done this weekend, so we should be able to get a clean start on that.

Work goals were pretty well accomplished. I still have something of a backlog there, but I don't think anyone else is stressing over it, so I'm not going to either.

After work, I did play through all of the band material. I didn't play my own original stuff, but that's not really critical. I need to get in the habit of practicing at least part of the band repertoire and my own stuff pretty much every evening. And, finally, I didn't make it anywhere near my step count. The pedometer did reset once during the day, but I don't think I would have made it close anyway. Oh well.

So, for tomorrow, there's cleaning Kala's litter box. I still want to make sure I brush my teeth and put on lotion in the morning, and have a piece of fruit and my bottle of water. I'd like to get a couple more things out of the old car, too.

I have band practice tomorrow, and I'd like to record that again. Assuming I do so, I'd like to at least dump the MP3s over onto my computer, if not actually beginning the editing process. Since I'll be playing all the band material at practice, I'm not going to worry about that, but I do want to play all of my original stuff I've been working on, and I want to get good bass parts for "The G/D Slap Thing" and "Walking".

Since tomorrow is a weekend day, I should have plenty of time, so I'd like to vacuum and do some dishes. And then I'd like to get upstairs and sort through some of the stuff in the spare bedroom. I still eventually want to turn that into a music room, and it's not getting any closer when I don't even go up there. We'll see how things to tomorrow, though...

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

What do I have planned for tomorrow? I'm hoping to get up when my alarm goes off; at least when the beeper does, if not the music. Since I've been slacking in the grooming and self-care department recently, I need to make sure I brush my teeth, shave, and put lotion on my legs. And I need to eat an apple or an orange for breakfast and fill my water bottle for work. Then I want to go outside and get at least two items out of the old blue car. Finally, I'm going to go upstairs and clean Kala's litter box.

I don't really have much planned for work tomorrow. Get there reasonably on time, which doesn't seem to happen really often lately. And then try to get through, oh, let's say three of the stacks of paper sitting on my cart. Also, on the way either to work in the morning or back after lunch, I'd like to stop at the recycle center and drop some stuff off.

After work, and perhaps at lunch and/or before work, I want to play through all of the band's songs on bass, and play through all of the seven tunes that I've been working on by myself on bass. And over the course of doing all of this stuff, I also want to make sure that I get to my 10,000 steps. I've had problems with the pedometer these past couple of days, with it resetting the count to 0 at some point during the day, so I'm not totally sure how many I've been getting. But, I'm going to try to get back to the 10K plateau and keep it there for three or four days, at least.

And now, off to bed...

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Not going well at the moment...

I’ve kind of slacked, and actually slid backward a bit, on trying to clean up all of the draft entries on the ol’ blog. I currently have 121 drafts. Admittedly, only adding about 30 in the past year is a whole lot better than I’d done previously, but the goal wasn’t to not add so many; it was to get rid of the ones I already have. So, I guess I’ll have to try to pick one per evening to clean up and publish, and maybe I’ll be done by the summer…

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Yesterday was the first day since I got my new pedometer that I've actually managed 10,000 steps two days in a row. I've come close a couple of times, like last week when I ended up at 9983 the day after hitting 10K. Now I just need to try to keep it up. Three days is the beginning of a trend, I suppose...


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's been a very cold, but otherwise mostly uneventful sort of day. The girlfriend had to open again this morning, so I took care of little man in the morning. Work was pretty uneventful. Once again, all of the drives this afternoon were quite short. It seems as though the cold weather is keeping people from bringing in their cars for routine service. Most of the stuff we've been seeing has been pretty major, but I guess they've mostly had their own rides. Anyway, it all pays the same...


Monday, January 10, 2011

It was very cold today. There was a tiny bit of snow this morning, but it was just little flakes that really didn't amount to very much. Fortunately, by the time I had to go to work, the roads were dry and I really didn't have any problem driving. All of the driving I did at work today was very local, which I'm glad of. I didn't really want to be driving out in some of the areas where there is always shade on the road.

Right now, I'm watching the BCS National Championship game, hoping that the Ducks can come back to win. They've been struggling more offensively than I've seen them do most of the season, but Auburn isn't exactly lighting up the scoreboard, either. I know some of the sports writers were expecting a very high scoring game between these two high-powered offenses, but it seems that the long period the defenses have had to prepare has made for a defensive struggle. We'll see if Oregon can pull out its first national championship, though...

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

So, it's been a while...

It’s been quite a long time since I’ve written updates to most of my goals, including this one. It’s kind of like starting the goal over for 2011. So, without further ado:

The weekend of the 1st and 2nd, the girlfriend and I took Ernie, our corgi, down to the dog park. We also stopped and did a little shopping.

This weekend, week 2 of the year, we also took him down to the dog park after getting her car inspected at the auto dealership where we work. While we had big plans of doing some other stuff, we wound up being kind of tired yesterday and the snow sort of kept us around the house today. But at least we made it out yesterday…

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It was kind of a blustery, wintry day today. The picture up there is outside of the apartment after it had pretty much stopped snowing. I think we ended up getting about two to three inches of total accumulation. We thought it was going to be more, but it didn't snow as long as they expected. It's still plenty, considering that the weather is supposed to hover just around the freezing point for the next four or five days. That means that it's going to get just warm enough to let the snow melt a bit in the afternoon, then it's going to freeze up like glass at night. I guess we'll see how the driving is tomorrow, though...


Saturday, January 8, 2011

In a band, kind of...

For the past year and a half or so, I’ve been playing bass with a drummer down the road a few miles. Toward the end of last August, we got together with a guitarist/singer/songwriter, and then his brother who also plays guitar.

There have been a few little bumps along the way. The drummer has a military musical background, along with having played in jazz bands in college. He’s used to playing off charts, without a whole lot of improvisation on the overall song structures.

The brothers, on the other hand, are self-taught musicians who enjoy jamming out when playing. They don’t tend to have really well defined structures to their songs, sort of playing according to feel.

I’m somewhere in the middle of the two extremes, so I ended up playing the part of Switzerland quite a bit early on. Now I think we’ve reached something of a compromise between well-structured pieces and some improvisation over solos and such, and I think it’s getting better as we get used to playing together.

I’m not going to mark this as completed yet, because we haven’t actually played out anywhere or done any serious recording. Once we get at least one of those things done, this goal will be closed…

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The girlfriend reminded me this morning that I need to turn in my resume to the IT director at work. So I gave it just a bit of a polish, printed it out at lunch, and waited till the IT director came by his office. I felt kind of like a stalker, as I stood there next to the window in the file room and sorted some stuff while I watched for him to drive up. He said he'd look at it this weekend, but I don't know when or if I'll hear any particular results. We'll see, though...

I wrote to the guys in the band yesterday to see what the practice schedule's like for the week. Turns out we're not going to be practicing tomorrow. I guess that's not too bad a thing, though, because it will leave me more time to smoke the brisket. That piece of meat is currently sitting on the counter defrosting. I thought I was going to have to soak it in brine to get it to defrost in time for cooking this weekend, but it seems to be doing pretty well without the soaking. Now as long as the weather holds out, I should be fine...

I did practice a little bit of music, but I need to get off my ass and work on it quite a bit more tomorrow. That's one of my major goals for this year, and I'm falling further behind by the day. Between that and not working on Mom's cross stitch project, I'm pretty frustrated with myself. But right now, I'm pretty damned tired, so I'm going to go to bed and see if I can motivate myself to work on some of those things tomorrow...

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

"Resolutions" vs. "Goals"

I was mentioning some of my New Year's resolutions to the girlfriend earlier this evening. She made the comment that she prefers not to refer to them as "resolutions." Instead, she prefers to call them "goals." I guess it's a matter of semantics, but it makes some sense. When you resolve to do something, once you fail to do it for the first time, that resolution has been broken. On the other hand, when you simply set something as a goal, if you fail to meet it, you haven't "broken" anything. You've just not met the goal yet, and you can continue to work on it until you meet it. I guess it's a fine point of argument, but it's one that I rather like...

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Today's been another depressing but fairly uneventful day. We woke up this morning to find the cable turned off. After calling Charter's 800 number and getting their automated system, we tried to find a number for their local office. Unfortunately, all of our phone books and even Google only had the number for their old office, which shut down several years ago. We were pretty sure that we still had a couple of days to pay the bill, but after a more careful reading, it seems that the cable will get shut off before the "late fee" kicks in.

So we left a bit early for work. We stopped at the bank and I transferred some money over to checking, just in case we had to pay the past due and the current amount. When we got to the Charter office, the lady was very nice, and we just had to pay the past due amount. She turned our cable back on right then. It was only a soft shut-off. A "warning," she said. Last time I checked, a warning would be something more along the lines of a phone call or a message on the bottom of the screen that said your cable was going to be shut off in a few days. But, oh well. It's back on now, which is nice.

The day at work was fairly slow, but otherwise normal. On the way home from lunch, we stopped and paid the electric bill. Trying to make sure we avoided the same kind of issues as Charter gave us. Plus if they turn off the power, it has much more of an effect than losing the TV. I had no drives at all this evening at work, but that's all right. It gave me more time to get some filing done.

Since getting home, I've mostly just sat around and played on the computer and watched TV. The girlfriend made some spaghetti for dinner, which is always nice. But now it's getting late, and there's work again tomorrow, so it's off to bed with me...

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Today wasn't a really eventful or exciting day. This morning, Ernie and Kala had a little bit of face-to-face interaction on the stairs when I went up to feed her. He climbed up to about the fourth step, and she came down and sniffed at him a little. Fortunately, his little butt was wagging away and he didn't get hyper and start barking or anything. I guess we'll try to do a little more of that every morning and try to get her a little more used to him.

Work was pretty much the usual stuff today. Still behind on the filing, even though I didn't have a lot of drives. I don't know if I'll ever get caught up there, but I guess I'll just keep plugging away until I'm either caught up or until they move me into some other job. Or till I quit...

When I got home today, I took Ernie down to pay the rent while the girlfriend made dinner. Ernie seemed happy to get outside and running around, even on a leash. And I managed to make my 10,000 step count for the first time in the new year. I guess that's not too terribly bad: Four days to get to my goal. Now if I can just keep it there, I'll be in good shape. Now I guess I'll think about getting ready for bed, after I go feed Kala...

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Monday, January 3, 2011

This morning at work, I was thinking about the situation there. They've asked me to help out some with installing software on computers and the like, which could be a nice little change from doing the filing and driving. Hopefully it would also involve me making a little more money, too. Initially, I kind of jumped at the chance, but then I got to thinking a little more about what I was being offered. It seems that I'd be doing three part time jobs, since they haven't said anything about relieving me of any of the duties of filing or driving. And I'm already getting further and further behind on the filing because they keep dragging me away to do other things.

So, when I saw the IT director early this afternoon, I flagged him down to have a bit of a chat with him. I told him that I felt like I was being set up for failure, since I was sort of being asked to do three separate jobs while reporting to two different departments. He told me that he understood the situation, and that actually my helping him out was sort of a test for me. Although I wasn't aware of it, my name has apparently come up as a possible replacement for the IT person at our facility.

While I appreciate the idea that they've been thinking of possibly having me in that position, I'm frankly a little pissed off at some of the attitude from management. Apparently, they decided not to tell me that this was a test because they were afraid that if I didn't get the position, my work ethic would suffer. So basically, I'm going to compete against other people who are applying for that job without actually knowing that there's a competition going on. I wish I'd known, because I would have put more effort into getting the laptop software installed. Oh well...

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

This morning, the girlfriend was still feeling rather under the weather, so I ended up making dessert for the lunch. I made creme brulee. I just made the plain one out of the book I got for the girlfriend a couple of years ago. It came out pretty well, especially for my first one, and it wasn't really all that difficult. I did decide not to make the other flavor that she was going to make, mostly just because of the time required to bake and cool them.

The lunch went well. Ernie was on pretty decent behavior most of the time. He does tend to jump a little more than we'd really like, but once he got over his initial excitement, he pretty much just minded his own business. He got quite a bit of loving from them after we finished the lunch, when they were sitting on the couch and we were talking. He mostly just sat between them and got whatever attention they'd give him, which was a considerable amount.

After lunch, I sat and watched football for a while. The girlfriend was pretty worn out, so she mostly just rested in the bedroom and watched some of her holiday movies. After a few hours, though, her step-mom called and said that she was just up the road and wanted to stop by. Fortunately, we had already cleaned for the most part, so the place wasn't a total disaster. She only ended up staying for maybe half an hour, and Ernie was again a little jumpy and over-excited, but then settled down to just sit near her as she ate a sandwich.

Since then, I've mostly just been sitting around more, cutting up the recordings from yesterday's practice and watching more football. I can hardly believe that the Seahawks managed to make it into the playoffs. The first team in league history to win their division with a losing record. The announcers mentioned that it had to do with the parity in the league, but it makes it look to me more like the Western Division of the NFC just plain sucks. I wish them the best of luck against the defending champion Saints next weekend, but I will be absolutely astonished if they manage to win that one.

Well, one more round of MP3s to send off to the boys in the band, and then I suppose I should start thinking about heading off to bed. The girlfriend has to open tomorrow, so I'll probably get up a bit early myself to let the little man run around for a while. I was going to go to the bank and see about refinancing my car, but I think I'll probably wait until Tuesday instead. No sense cutting Ernie's time out of the crate short...

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day one of the new year. I got up a bit later than I wanted, but managed to get down to the drummer's house within a relatively reasonable time. We had a practice that wasn't all that long, maybe a couple of hours, but we did get a fair amount accomplished. I recorded most of the practice on my little voice recorder, and I still need to chop that up to get the individual songs isolated. We also started writing one band song, as opposed to having individuals bring in written songs and then the rest of us just adding on our particular instrumental part. We'll see how the group song goes, but it sounds all right so far.

Tomorrow, a couple of friends are coming over to celebrate the girlfriend's birthday. So when I got home from band practice, I started helping out with some of the cleaning and such. She's been feeling rather under the weather lately, so I'm trying to step up and help out a little more than usual. I did some picking up and bringing stuff upstairs, took all the recycling down to the center, and went to the grocery store. Unfortunately, when I did get to the recycle place, most of the bins that we really needed most (cardboard and plastic) were already jammed full and people had just been heaping their stuff up against the side of the dumpsters. Not being that kind of douche myself, I still have most of the plastic and cardboard sitting outside in my car. Hopefully I'll be able to get it all out of there in the next couple of days. I don't need a bunch more crap staying in my car for who knows how long...

I've been watching the end of the Fiesta Bowl in between doing some of the other little things, but that's over now. So I guess I should get some vacuuming done and then head off to bed. Don't want to be dozing off at the lunch table tomorrow when they get here...

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