Tag: work

We few, we happy few

Busy day at work today, one of those days where time flies by virtually unnoticed.  I got fed up with a project that seemed to have lost all forward momentum and so I took charge today, and I felt good about that.  I think things will start moving again.

After work, Kelly went to the gym and I walked to the grocery store.  I needed some kind of exercise.  It was cold, but I walked quickly.  There were some dangerous patches of ice on the sidewalks but I navigated them safely (nearly sliding to the pavement only once).  I lugged two large grocery bags home and felt that I not only got a decent cardio workout, but that my shoulders and arms got a good workout as well.

Lots of miscellaneous mail:  stuff from the accountant, some bills from various doctors, the latest issue of AOPA Pilot.  Still no word from ANALOG.  Tomorrow will be 60 days, I believe.

Read more of Dick Winters’ book, which I am really enjoying.  Watched the new episode of Smallville and then decided to watch the first episode of Band of Brothers.

Another busy day in the office tomorrow.  Looking forward to Saturday evening.  We have theater tickets to Les Miserables at the Signature Theater in Shirlingon.  That should be fun.

Oh, we’re half-way there…

Today is the official halfway point of Kelly’s pregnancy.  Exactly 20 weeks.  Assuming the baby will be around 6 pounds (96 ounces) when he’s born, he will increase in mass nearly ten-fold over the next 20 weeks, which is remarkable when you think about it.

Very icy this morning.  There was a layer half an inch thick covering the car, that must have added 200 pounds in weight.  It took a while to get it all scraped off.  The streets weren’t great, but we only have 2 miles to travel on a relatively empty road to get to the office.  Work was a busy today.  I was occupied from the moment I got into the office.  Tomorrow won’t be much better.  I’ve got meetings beginning at 11 AM and running continuously through the end of the day.  And I’ve got about another 200 pages of reading to do before that first meeting tomorrow morning.

I got the latest issue of NEW SCIENTIST in the mail today, which puts me 2 issues behind, to say nothing of the latest issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN.  I think this weekend will be spent catching up on those issues.

I’m absolutely loving Major Richard Winters’ book, Beyond Band of Brothers.  I’m a little more than a third of the way through the book and finding Winters observations fascinating, especially in the context of Stephen Ambrose’s book, Band of Brothers.

Looking forward to the new episode of Life of Mars tonight…

And he walked on down the hall

Another long workday.  My hours are going to increase for a while until we get over the hump, which will hopefully be sometime in mid-March.  In the meantime, I expect longer days.  More than likely I’ll start getting up earlier, working from home until Kelly is up and ready to go and then head into the office.  I’ll do my best to keep the evenings clear, but we’ll see how things go. 

I ate lunch today, but didn’t take a lunch break.

Finally got around to moving an automatic payment from an old account to a new one.  That took way longer than it should have.  Paid the auto insurance bill.  I’m annoyed as all heck that in Virginia you can’t pay the entire year in advance (I was able to do that in Maryland).  Apparently, in Virginia, the policies are written to be six months.  I just hate having to remember to pay these bills.  I went to set up automatic payments for it, but they automatic payments are deducted monthly and charge a $5 service fee.  You can’t do automatic payments if you pay the whole thing up front.

Avalon finally got the new website up so that I can once again pay the rent automatically.  Recall from a while back that I had this all nice and working, and then Avalon decided to cancel it all so that they could revamp their website.  After a few months, they got the new website up and announced it today.  Thrilled, I went to it and couldn’t for the life of me figure out where to set up the payments.  Long story short:  the site only works with Internet Explorer; no Safari, no Firefox.  Fortunately, I figured this out by logging into the site on a whim using Internet Explorer on my work laptop.  The message that indicates this is not displayed when you log in using another browser, only using Internet Explorer.  I was able to set up my recurring payments, but I’ve got to say that this has been a customer service disaster from end to end.

I also paid the water and cable bills today, now the only two remaining bills that have no eBill mechanism and no way to do automatic payments.  (Not entirely true.  Cable does, but it involves calling customer service, and I’m through with that for a while.  It’s easier to pay the bill via BillPay.)

We booked our travel to warm and sunny Albany, New York.  Yes, there’s no place like Albany on Valentines Day, and that’s where we’ll be, visiting strausmouse  and rmstraus  in the dead of winter.  The original plan was to drive but I’m in no mood to spend 14 hours of my weekend in a car.  So we bit the bullet and bought fairly reasonable plane tickets.  Nonstop from Reagan-National.  Total travel time should be under 2 hours and that includes going to the airport.

Kelly’s belly seemed to have a growth spurt over the last few days.  She is looking increasingly pregnant.  We have a doctor appointment tomorrow morning.

I’m going to try and squeeze in a little pleasure reading before heading off to bed.  I’ve got the fireplace going, now all I need is a glass of chocolate milk.

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.


Back to work today

I had to work today and I was back in the office despite the fact that nearly all of America gets Martin Luther King, Jr. day off.  Today was one of those focused, "programmer mode" days.  I was working on data imports and worked steadily for eight hours, finally hitting a good stopping point just before the end of the day.

I’ve never seen the Pentagon City mall more crowded than when I left the office today.  They are bussing people into town and they’ve confused the National Mall for the Pentagon City mall or vice versa.  People were camped out and it was thick with people.  Glad I’ve been bringing my lunch because who knows how long those food lines are getting.

Stopped at the grocery store on the way home to make sure we had everything we needed for tomorrow, since we don’t want to leave the house.  I got in a little reading this evening, then watched an episode of Rescue Me.  I plan to get more reading in before heading off to bed. 

Meetings, meetings, meetings

Yup, one of those days.  I was up at 6 AM, headed downstairs to feed the cats and pack my lunch.  Strangely, when I was done packing my lunch, I still didn’t hear the shower going. Kelly was still asleep.  I got her up and then came back down to eat breakfast.  A little while later we were off to work.

I had lots of meetings today.  They started at 10:30 and ran straight through until 4 PM.  It’s hard to make progress on a day like that because any work you end up doing is fragmented.

I did manage to get to Sunglass Hut and exchange my new (defective) sunglasses for a non-defective pair.  It was pretty easy, no hassles and now I’ve got a properly working pair of sunglasses.  I also made an appointment with our financial advisor (family planning stuff) for next week.

After work, Kelly went straight to the gym and I ate some dinner.  Later in the evening I made brownies so that I had something to pack in my lunch (we ran out of cookies).  Just before 8 PM, I headed to the gym and did a 40 minute cardio workout.  A little knee pain this time, but it gradually went away.

Not much reading today, but I hope to get some done tonight before heading off to bed.  No writing.  After yesterday’s debacle, I figure I could use a night or two off to allow myself to regroup.

Good day back at work

The holidays are over and it was back to work today.  Kelly and I overslept slightly (10 or 15 minutes) but we heading into work and got started with the day.  I set out 4 goals for myself to get done at work today.  I got three of the four things done.  The last one got a little more complicated as I went along, but I hope to get it wrapped up tomorrow.  I napped for half an hour at lunch and really fell into a deep sleep.  Kelly met me after work at 5 PM and we headed home together, as usual.

Got the latest issue of NEW SCIENTIST in the mail today, but no other postal excitement.  I’m through 722 pages of The Hard SF Renaissance, having just finished Ted Chiang’s "Understanding" earlier this evening, which I really enjoyed.  Going to squeeze in some more reading after I hit the shower and before heading off to bed. 

A quiet evening at home

I was surprised how many people were actually in the office today, considering it was Friday and everyone had yesterday off.  Still, it was a pretty quiet day, overall.  The predicted snow never manifested.  Chalk another one up to the weather department.

We spent a quiet evening at home.  Our stroller arrived at the concierge, but when I went to pick it up, they couldn’t find where they’d put the box and asked me to come back tomorrow; they said they’d have it sorted out.  I guess we’ll see.  No mail of interest today.  In fact, it was all junk.  I did manage some more reading and I’m just over 600 pages through The Hard SF Renaissance.

Spoke with Jim at work this afternoon.  Spoke with stubiebrother  this evening.

Kelly and I are making some weekend travel plans–one weekend in January and one weekend in February.  Still working out the details.

Lego Star Wars

Productive work day today.  It was one of those days where I told myself that I was going to solve a particular problem before I left the office, and sure enough, shortly after lunch, I had the problem solved.  I was pleased with that.

I had leftovers for dinner and steamed some broccoli for Kelly to go along with her mashed potatoes.  After dinner, we cracked open the Lego Star Wars game we got as a gift for the Wii and played that for a while.  Talk about fun!  First, you can play the story line for all six of the movies.  Second, you can’t die, which makes it fun.  Third, the intercuts are hilarious!  Kelly mostly watched, but offered a lot of advice for solving some of the puzzles.

I closed out the evening watching more Battlestar Galactica.

More research and outlining

I’ve spent hours this evening doing more research and outlining for the story–which still does not have a name.  I’ve got my timeline down pretty good, and now I’m filling in details that will help the plot move along.  I think I’ll be ready to actually start writing the prologue of the story tomorrow.

Stressful day at work, in the sense that I spent a lot of time trying to understand how a fairly complicated asset system integrates with CMDB and only toward the end of the day did I see where the main integration points were.  At least it was some progress.

I returned the library books after work and Kelly and I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few items.  Got the January 2009 issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN in the mail today.  Also got a holiday picture card from strausmouse  and rmstraus .  Ironic because I sent out their card today.  (I also got three other holiday cards squeezed in today.)

I picked up a small Moleskine notebook for keeping notes on the story when I think of them and I’m not near the computer.  Haven’t used it yet, but I imagine it will come in handy.  (Yes, I could use my iPhone for this, but the technology doesn’t work fast enough for me.  It’s much faster for me to pull out the pad and jot down my thoughts.)

Spoke with Dad this evening.

Cleaned all of the bathrooms this evening.  I’ve got to vacuum upstairs tomorrow night.

Today’s reading: NEW SCIENTIST (December 13), and some more of The Hard SF Renaissance.  I’m turning to the latter again now before I go to bed.