Tag: errands


Another lazy day.  Kelly was up around 7 or 7:30 and I got up a little later and ate some breakfast, but then I went back to bed for a while, still needing to rest and be lazy.  I spent most of the day watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy on DVD and finished up the last movie late in the evening.

Mid-afternoon we headed out to do shopping.  Kelly headed off to Target and I went to the grocery store.  I’d planned out the menus for the week and got what we needed.

For dinner this evening, I made up a pasta dish.  Essentially, it was fettuccine with a "Marsala" sauce.  I prepared mushrooms the same way I prepare them when making chicken Marsala but when the pasta was done cooking, I through it in the pan with the mushrooms and sauce and tossed it.  It came out good.  I also made caesar salads, and instead of garlic bread, I got some pita chips and hummus, spread the hummus on the chips and put a slice of cucumber on top.

I did manage to get a little reading done today.

It started snowing late this afternoon.  I said to Kelly, "Let me see how much snow we’re supposed to get," since I hadn’t heard of any snow (or been paying attention to the weather for the last week).  I went online to look, figuring it would be the usual "less than an inch".  A minute later I said, "You’ve got to be [expletive removed]-ing kidding me!"

"What?" Kelly said.

"Am I reading this right?  It says we’re supposed to get 5-8 inches of snow!"

For some reason, I had trouble sleeping.  I tossed and turned for a while and then got up again and went downstairs to read.  I finally went to bed around midnight.

Offline Sunday

I’ve been trying to spend my Sunday’s offline–disconnected from Internets, phones, TV, etc.  I did pretty good today, with one or two small exceptions.  I had another busy day planned and I did pretty good:

  • Did the grocery shopping for the week
  • Completed all of the paperwork I need to submit to our accountant for tax season
  • Prepared all the paperwork I need to submit to our financial advisor
  • Got through the two most recent NEW SCIENTIST magazines (I still have the latest SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN)
  • Vacuumed upstairs
  • Cooked dinner.  Tonight we had shrimp scampi with a side of zucchini and walnuts.  Stay-tuned for the dinner we’re having tomorrow.  Yum!

I started reading Adam-Troy Castro’s novelette, "Among the Tchi" in the May 2009 ANALOG on the recommendation of mabfan .  So far it’s hilarious!

I plan on getting a little more reading done this evening, this time in The Way the Future Was.  And then at 8, I’m planning on an hour’s worth of work on "Depression Baby".  I had some good thoughts and a few notes on another story that I plan on working on in June.

I  cast my Hugo award ballot this weekend.  It turns out that I  didn’t read a single new s.f. novel in 2008.  My most significant votes were for the novelette, "Empty Spaces" and the short story "I  Remember the Future"both by Michael A.  Burstein (mabfan ).  And for Best Editor, Short Form, I voted for Stanley Schmidt, editor of ANALOG.

Up at 4 AM tomorrow and then I’m locking myself in my office to make progress on some training materials for a training session I’ll be leading in mid-March.

And a quick HAPPY BIRTHDAY shout-out to cdjensen !


We had nearly 70 degree weather today and it was terrific.  We were up around 7:30 or so.  After breakfast, we headed out for an early walk to enjoy this mini-spring.  We took the basketball with us, but were disturbed by the fact that it kept getting stuck in the net on the court.  Kelly headed to the movies with friends around 11:30 and I headed to the grocery story.  Then it was back home.  My plan was to get through as much of my backlog of science magazines as I could.  I sat on the porch.  I sat indoors.  I read, read read.  When all was said and done, I got through all three back issues of NEW SCIENTIST.  Only the most recent issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN remains.  I plan on finishing that up tonight and tomorrow.

Sunday is my full day off.  No workouts, and a little bit more lax on diet (but not much).  I also decided to try an experiment today.  I wanted a "disconnected" day and so today, I avoided checking email, facebook, or even going online all day long until just now, to write this blog entry.  Can I say that despite the general laziness of the day, I felt pretty productive not feeling compelled to check email or browse the web.

This afternoon, Kelly and I took a leisurely walk up to Shirlington and back.  The weather cools off a bit tomorrow but then warms up again mid-week.  I’m off to bed by 9 PM.  I plan on being up at 4 AM tomorrow and head to the gym at 5 AM.

Weekend wrapup

We went to see Les Mis at the Signature Theater last night and had a great time.  The show was at 8 PM, and after struggling a little to find parking, we went into the theater and were seated on the right side of the "Max" theater, just a few rows back from the stage.  It’s one of those theaters where there are no bad seats.  Neither of us had ever seen the play before and I enjoyed it, all the more since it wasn’t a big broadway production.  There were even a few child actors in the play who did a fantastic job.  Despite the economy, the theater was full.  The play ended at about 11 PM and we were home ten minutes later.

Earlier in the day, we met up with AJ and Denisse and had lunch with them in Shirlington at Guapo’s, and then came back to our place for a while.  We sat around chatting and then somehow got into playing "guess this TV show theme".  That was fun,

It was my goal today to try and knock more items off the to-do list.  I got a few done.  I worked on the forms and paper work for the financial advisor and accountant.  I cleaned the bathrooms and mopped the kitchen floor.  We did grocery shopping this evening (during the Superbowl, so that the store was empty).  It was near 60 degrees and sunny today so we took a walk into Shirlington on the new bike path that cuts under 395.  It really shortens the walk.  We walked back the old way just so we could linger in the warm sun a little longer.

I started to catch-up on NEW SCIENTIST reading, but didn’t get too far.  I also did more reading of Beyond Band of Brothers.  Spoke with Mom and Dad today.  Tried to do some work from home but my account seems to be locked out for some reason.  I’ll have to get that worked out tomorrow.

Early night tonight.  If all goes well, I start up my workout routine tomorrow on a modified version of my old schedule.  I plan on getting up at 4 AM.  We’ll see how that goes.


I have a lot of little things to get done this weekend:

  • Send "If By Reason of Strength…" to ASIMOV’S
  • Get stamps
  • Fill out forms for our financial adviser (started)
  • Fill out forms for our accountant (started)
  • Pay the revised auto insurance bill
  • Get revised ID card from insurance website
  • Pay the doctor’s bills
  • Mail bills
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Mop kitchen floor
  • Vacuum upstairs
  • Prepare a work-breakdown structure for the change management portion of the ITSM project
  • Push out changes to the Visitor application to include then new office
  • Catch up on two back issues of NEW SCIENTIST (started)
  • Catch up on latest issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN
  • Post some of my Hugo Award recommendations
  • Begin revisions on "Homecoming"
  • Finish reading Beyond Band of Brothers
  • Grocery shopping for next week

That’s all I can think of.  I wonder how long it will actually take me to get it all done?


  • Clean out cat litter
  • Organize media library (started)
  • Mileage credit for Kelly (have to retry next week; too soon to submit)
  • Mail marriage license request forms

And then one day you find, ten years have got behind you

Went to bed shortly after getting back from happy hour last night.  I woke up sometime after midnight feeling a bit dizzy; this despite having chugged a liter and a half of water when I got home.  Fortunately, it passed and I slept through the rest of the night undisturbed.

Up this morning and we were both in moods to get things done.  We made good use of the time.  I finally cleaned off the kitchen counter, which was being used as a gigantic inbox.  Kelly cleaned things too.  We headed out to Potomac Yards to run errands:  returned some things to Sports Authority, picked up some books at Barnes & Noble, grabbed some cat litter from Pet Smart and then a few odds and ends from Target.  We were home by noon.  I cleaned out the cat litter and then we had lunch: grilled cheese  (Someone is bound to comment on the previous sentence, but believe me, it was all perfectly sanitary.)  At Target we picked up some containers for cereal so that the boxes are no longer taking up space in the cupboard.  We also got a nice little magnetic whiteboard for the fridge.

Kelly went out with Sarah all afternoon (scoping out houses for Sarah’s sister) and I stayed home and relaxed.  I vacuumed and folded laundry.  I watched Jumper on HBO.  It was one of those movies where the book was so much better and so different that the two really didn’t have anything to do with one another (except the teleportation).  Not a bad movie, just not nearly as good as Steven Gould’s book.  I got some reading done too.  And even managed to sneak in a nap.

When Kelly and Sarah got back, we headed over to Shirlington and had dinner at Guapo’s.  I had the bacon-wrapped shrimp dish again, which was just as good this time as the first time.  After dinner we headed over to the movie theater.  Kelly and Sarah went to see Slumdog Millionaire, while I went and saw The Wrestler, which turned out to be one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while.

We got all the chores and errands done today so tomorrow there’s not much to do.  I plan on getting to work on the second draft of "Homecoming", now that I’ve gotten some good feedback.  Maybe get some more reading in, as well.

Time keeps on slipping, slipping, into the future

I was busy most of the day today–another cold day here in the metro DC area–and even as the day ended there was no relief in sight.  I managed to talk my way into a meeting that I thought started at 2 PM, and did start at 2 PM, only in the wrong time zone.  So I rushed home from the office in time to call into a two hour meeting that lasted from 5 – 7 PM.  By the time it was over, I was hungry.  I had some tomato bisque soup for dinner and made a grilled cheese sandwich to go along with it.

A few odds and ends taken care of today.  I managed to squeeze in a haircut this morning.  I finally got around to adding Kelly to my auto insurance.  She can cancel hers tomorrow.  I also met briefly with our financial adviser to begin the process of planning for the coming family expansion and all that it entails.

The February SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN came in the mail today, as did the March ASIMOV’S and the December/January BULLETIN of the Science Fiction Writers of America.  Also a few statements from the insurance company, indicating that they have now paid for some of our OB doctor appointments.  (Originally, they were trying to bill Kelly’s insurance first, but since she canceled her insurance when she got on mine, there were some delays in payment until the computer records were sorted out.  It has all now been resolved.)

No reading today.  No writing either.  I’d like to get started on the second draft of "Homecoming" so that there might be a chance that I can finish it and get it in the mail in the next 10 days.

As I write this, I notice that the counter in the kitchen is a mess and that’s my fault.  I need to get it cleaned up.

And I need to get back to the gym.


Catching up

Vacation has put me a few days behind on the blog, but I am catching up and the backdated posts should appear this morning.  Keeping up on Facebook was easier because I didn’t have to depend on wireless connections while I was gone.  Incidentally, speaking of Facebook, thanks to Doug, I go reconnected with a high school teacher from "Core".  Pretty cool thing, that Facebook is!

I’m in one of those frazzled, disjointed modes that vacation can put you into.  No significant reading since the middle of last week (instead, I’ve been re-watching episodes of Battlestar Galactica, in anticipation of the final episodes coming up in January.

Spent a lot of time last night consolidating our iTunes media library onto the new 1 TB drive and making sure it was available to all of our machines and that we could sync our devices the way we wanted.

Today is going to be a catch-up day, both work and home.  Lots of things to do.

Warm Sunday

It was near 70 degrees here in the Metro DC area today–unusual for late December, to say the least.  It was almost like we were back in Florida.  I slept in until about 8:30 or so.  But we still managed to get an early start on our day.  First, we headed over to the Apple store to get Kelly her Christmas present, a new MacBook!  (Her old PowerBook was on its dying breath.)  We were in-and-out in 10 minutes.  I also picked up a 1 TB external hard disk for our desktop computer (iMac) so that we can consolidate out entire iTunes media library and have it centralized in one place.

Next, we headed to the grocery store to buy food, very little of which we had in the house.  We stocked up and headed home.  I ran down to the concierge and picked up the two packages that were waiting for me.  One package was a gift from Mom and Dad:  Mario Cart for the Wii, with the steering wheel attachment included.  We can’t wait to play.

The other package was my copy of mabfan ‘s first book, I Remember the Future, which he signed for me.  I was very excited to get it.  When I finish The Hard SF Renaissance, it will be the next book that I read, making it book #401 or 402 on my list.  (Yes, I’ve read just about all of the stories already, but they are that good.  I’ll have more to say on the subject when I am done re-reading them.)  Humble though I am, I can’t help but mention the fact that my name appears in thebook twice.  I mention this only as a point of fact:  it is the first time someone has ever mentioned me in the "Afterward" of a story, and it was Michael that did me the honor.  The book looks great, incidentally, and as I have said before, the stories are a perfect introduction to what science fiction is all about (for those who don’t know); and they are great examples of solid science fiction for those who do read in the genre.  Buy the book!

There were some additional chores to do:  cleaning out the cat litter; taking out a bunch of trash and recycling; vacuum the house (Kelly did upstairs, I did the downstairs).

Spoke to Mom and then e took a long walk in the afternoon.  We didn’t need jackets; it was warm and windy.

I spent the rest of the day setting up our consolidated media library.  It was a little complicated, but mostly time consuming, copying data over the wireless network.  But it’s working the way I want it to work now, so all is good.

Good Monday

Up just before 6 AM with a killer stomach ache, the first one in a really long time.  Eventually it went away.  I was good today about meals.  5 small meals beginning around 7 AM and spread about every three hours throughout the day.  For dinner I made chicken and had what was left of my apple, ale and cheddar soup.  Kelly was craving noodles and peas and so I made those for her as well.

Productive day at the office.  For some reason, I didn’t think I had any meetings today, but I turned out to have plenty.  Still managed to get in a solid day’s work.  Also made some good notes for the new story, including what I think will be the opening line.  Looking forward to getting started on that as soon as the workshop story is in the mail.

Speaking of mail, I got stamps today.  They charge a $0.50 service charge for stamps atHarris Teeters.  I didn’t think that was allowed but I was in too much of a hurry to debate the issue.  I mailed some more thank you notes (only one more small batch to go).  I also paid a couple of bills.  Dad called and I spoke with him for a little while.  He was at the airport in Seattle, returning from his trip up there.  Also a call from mabfan , who was very patient in answering my physics question.

After work I went to the gym, then home, cooked dinner.  Kelly went to bed early and I started reading joe_haldeman ‘s Marsbound.  Through the first 35 pages and maybe another 15 or 20 before I call it a night.  (Yes, I gave up on the Franklin Roosevelt book–for the second time now.)


Up around 8 AM.  I was supposed to do a video chat with Jim at 9 AM, but he wasn’t around.  Instead we did the chat around 11 AM.  We lazed around this morning, as usual.  The garage door wasn’t working again, and I called maintenance about it.  I think they may have fixed it later in the day–at least, I suspect so, since it was working this afternoon when we went grocery shopping.

After my video chat, I walked over to Shirlington to get a haircut.  I walked despite the fact that is was in the 30s out, and the wind was blowing.  I distracted myself by reading while I walked.  I finished the latest issue of NEW SCIENTIST early this morning, and started in on SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN.  That’s what I read while walking.

We went grocery shopping late this afternoon.  I picked up what I needed for Thanksgiving.  We are going to Sarah’s, and I am making stuffed mushrooms.  I’m making two different kinds.  Should be interesting.

Spoke with strausmouse  for a bit this evening.  I think I still owe a few callbacks to other folks.

Watched the season finales of True Blood and Entourage this evening.  Emptied the dishwasher and I’m heading off to bed just as soon as I finish up the article that I’m reading.  Oh, by the way, I’m likely giving up on the Roosevelt book (again!)  It’s just not keeping my attention.  Besides, after reading the articles on science fiction in NEW SCIENTIST, I’m feeling like I need some of that in my veins right about now. 

Short work week coming up!  Got a headache right now and I’m hoping it will be gone by the time I head up to bed.