My company had the holiday party this evening and Kelly and I arrived there at 5 PM. I received numerous comments on my clothes. Kelly made sure that I was sharply dressed. It was a fun evening, good food and drinks, and good company too. At around 7 PM they started the raffle (each person attending had a ticket). They worked their way from the smallest prize up to the grand prize. About halfway through, they called my number and I walked up to the front of room and accepted a $25 gift card to Champps. (When I got back to the table, I joked with Kelly that if our other number was called, she’d have to go up to accept the award.)
Our other number was called for the grand prize.
And so, Kelly walked up front and accepted our prize, which was 2 free meals at Chevy’s and 1 weekend night’s stay at the Residence Inn in Arlington. How cool is that!
We were home at 8 PM.
Today was payday, which is always nice. Not much reading today. I’m 70 pages through The Hard SF Renaissance, and about 55 pages through A Man on the Moon. The latest issue of NEW SCIENTIST arrived yesterday and I’m working my way through that as well.
We have some last minute holiday shopping and errands to do tomorrow morning (early, to avoid the crowds), and then we’re having brunch with AJ and Denisse.
Long day today. Up just after 6 AM and into the office around 7:30. I worked steadily throughout the day. (At one point, I ran a SQL job that took 5 hours to complete!). I had to stay late to do an interview. Brought some of my soup for lunch, which was good.
I met Kelly after work and we headed home. Mostly lazy evening. I tried to do a little writing but ran into some technical difficulties (to say nothing of still trying to figure out a way to get this scene under control). I watched The Office, and then read more of Cauldron. I’m 148 pages through the book.
Heading off to bed now. Good news from he11o_sunshine and stubiebrother this evening! We are very excited!
Work was not overly busy today, but that’s mainly because I’m still waiting on people to do things. The nice thing about today was no meetings–the only day this week where that is true. Worked until about 4:30 today and then met Kelly at "our spot" outside Ann Taylor and we headed home. I needed a shave badly–it has been since Thanksgiving. I took care of that. Then I made dinner. Nothing fancy tonight–mac and cheese and some peas to go along with it. he11o_sunshine would have hated it, but Kelly loves peas.
I finished Rob Sawyer’s Frameshift today. It was a good read, a definite page turned, but I didn’t think it was quiet as good as some of his more recent stuff. At lunch I started on Uncertainty by David Lindley.
When I got home this evening, the November 29 issues of NEW SCIENTIST was waiting for me in the mail. I’ll try and get through some of that tonight, but I want to get through more of Uncertainty because that’s really research for my current story.
Skipped the gym this evening. I much better at the gym in the morning, and I may have to find a way to get back to a morning schedule.
Less-than-optimal day at work. I was waiting for some spreadsheets to prepare for a meeting and they were never done, and now we have had to push the meeting to the end of the week, so we lost some good time for no apparently good reason. It’s a little frustrating.
I was hoping to finish Frameshift today, but I’ve still got about 100 pages to go. Spent much of the evening working on notes and research for the new story, "Origins". No actual writing of the story, but I should be able to start soon. In any case, I’m about 230 pages through the book.
Took the telescope out tonight to look at the moon, Venus and Jupiter, all in alignment. Some nice looks at the moon. Venus and Jupiter seemed to come in very fuzzy. I’m certain I was doing something wrong.
Kelly and I watched two more episodes of From the Earth to the Moon. And earlier in the day, I listened to mabfan on Hour of the Wolf. Great interview.
Picked up a new wireless keyboard for the iMac at home. The old wireless keyboard, more than four years old, was worn out and dead.
Most people were not at work today. But Kelly and I headed in as usual. It was a quiet morning for the most part, but a busy afternoon. I had lunch with Monica at CPK (Todd was supposed to be there, too, but never showed up.) I then prepared for a 2 PM meeting that was more contentious than I imagined it would be. We were told we could leave at 3 PM, but my meeting didn’t finish until 3:20 or so. Kelly met me at the mall and we did some brief shopping. I got a new wool coat from J. Crew for those extra cold days.
Got the latest (November 22) issue of NEW SCIENTIST in the mail today. In fact, I got two of them. The second was stuck to the first and it made me wonder if that was how I ended up missing an issue a few weeks ago. Also AOPA Pilot was in the mail. I also received my book shipment from Amazon: Incandescence by Greg Egan and Anathem by Neal Stephenson. I should finish up Marsbound tonight or tomorrow morning and then will start in on Incandescence.
I put the finishing touches on the manuscript for "If By Reason of Strength…" and printed it out. I’m sending it off on Friday.
Spoke with Dad briefly today.
When I got home from work, I was pretty tired. I’d been tired since lunch. I read for a little while and somewhere between 5:30 and 6 PM, I decided to go upstairs and lay down. I woke up 20 minutes ago, at about 10:35 PM. Kelly was in bed and I was completely disoriented, having slept nearly 5 hours. I even dreamed that I was in a bookstore and met up with mabfan and Barry Malzberg to talk about s.f. Anyway, I’m downstairs now and going to read for a while, since I don’t feel tired at the moment.
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.)
I didn’t get to bed until midnight last night. I stayed up playing Tiger Woods. I hadn’t played it in about a week and I did pretty good last night. I won the Fourth of July tournament–I actually came in 1st place at -6. It was fun.
Once again, no NEW SCIENTIST yesterday, so I broke down and started reading the November 8 issue online. Got through about the first 20 pages. The articles are just as good as ever, but there is something about the experience of reading the magazine online that just doesn’t quite compare to reading it from the pages themselves. I can’t say what it is. I guess I’m just old-fashioned. While on the magazine’s website, I submitted the form telling them that I hadn’t yet received my November 8 issue. Watch, it will be in today’s mail. I did manage to read some more of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I’m through about 120 pages or so.
Full day at work yesterday and I was pleased with the progress I made on several fronts. Yesterday was Kelly’s work-from-home day. I was up at almost 9 AM this morning, which is late for me these days. Kelly was already up, downstairs watching Maid of Honor. The weather is odd here today. It’s overcast (there were thunderstorms last night) but windy and warm (and humid!) It’s just about 70 degrees at 11 AM which is very unusual for mid-November. The rain looks like it’s going to hold off for a while so Kelly and I are going to walk up to Pentagon City.
I had another productive day at work today, mostly working on a fairly sophisticated application logging system. I’m pleased with how it is working so far.
Dashed for the mail box when I got home today and still no NEW SCIENTIST, much to my dismay. I know that I can read the issue on-line, but it doesn’t give me the same satisfaction as holding the magazine in my hand and moving slowly through it, cover-to-cover. Maybe tomorrow?
I was up early this morning and I was pretty tired by the time I picked Kelly up from work. I plan on heading to bed early.
Today’s reading: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (through 60 pages).
Can you believe it’s been one month since our wedding already? Time has zoomed by at an incredible rate! I had to work late today but on the way home, I picked up a dozen roses for Kelly in celebration of the special day. (Kelly had Veterans Day off.)
The cats were hungry early and so I was up at 5:30 to feed them and then decided to stay up. I was in the office at 7 AM and didn’t head home until 6:30 PM, making it the longest day in a while. At lunch, I finished reading Einstein: His Life and Universe. What a great book! It was definitely a five-star book. I thought I knew the general Einstein mythology, and I learned a great deal more. His life story was well told and kept me turning the pages, even when I had to stretch my imagination at some of the descriptions of relativity and quantum theory I don’t give books 5-stars very often, but this one was well deserving.
(See all my 5-star rated books here, 20 of them out of nearly 400 read.)
I then immediately started in on Conrad Black’s immense (1,200 page) biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Kelly has unwittingly inspired my reading of these last two books. She was watching the movie I.Q. one evening, and that reminded me that I had the Einstein book sitting on the shelf, unread. Then a few weeks later, she was watching Warm Springs and that reminded me that I had started the Roosevelt biography years ago and never finished and it was time to start over.
When I got home from work, I dashed out to the mailbox, eagerly awaiting NEW SCIENTIST. The box was empty. Duh! Veterans Day!
I got through another dozen thank you notes this evening. Spoke to he11o_sunshine on the phone this evening. Spoke to Dad briefly earlier today. Feeling better today. I got a flu shot this morning. That means I’ll either get the flu, or I won’t.
Yesterday, I had to come up to speed on some new software technology we’ll be using for a project here at work. I had to come up to speed pretty fast. I have some meetings today in which I am expected to make some estimates based on my knowledge of this software. So I had a lot of reading to do yesterday and last night. Nearly 900 pages! Keep in mind these are mostly technical manuals and I can usually read those pretty quickly. But I was taking notes at the same time. Couple that with the fact that reading about CMDB, while interesting at times, is not all that sexy. In order to get through much of the reading last night (as there was no way I could finish it all during the workday yesterday), I had to bribe myself. Here’s what I did:
For every 2-3 chapters I read in the CMDB books, I allowed myself 1 chapter of the Albert Einstein biography. That seemed to work pretty well, but I am still not finished. I have some more reading to do this morning, and I have to leave myself time to compile my notes into something that I can use in the meetings early this afternoon.
As for the rest of yesterday: we went grocery shopping after work and I made us pasta for dinner. Tonight I’m going to prepare some southwestern chicken a la strausmouse . No exciting mail yesterday. I did manage to squeeze in some time to see the most recent (Tivo’d) episode of The Shield. I think there are only 3 more episodes left before the series ends.
Up at 6:30 AM and into work shortly thereafter. For some reason, I didn’t feel as productive as usual today. Work has seemed relatively quiet all week long, but it just seemed to drag a bit today because I couldn’t get the engines firing on all 8 cylinders.
I made dinner again tonight. This time, it was a caesar salad with a homemade dressing, and linguini and homemade pesto sauce. Once again, thanks to strausmouse and spouce for the recipes. Very garlicy!
I got a $40 check from Washington Gas today. This is hopefully the end of a ridiculous merry-go-round with the gas company. The short version is that they said I owed them money. I called and they said their computers made a mistake and I didn’t owe them money. Next I heard from them was through a collection agency saying that I owed them money. So I sighed and sent them a check for the amount they said I owed. Today, I got that money back. It cost me nothing, but heaven knows how much money the gas company spent on this debacle.
I watched most of Barack Obama’s 30 minute ad spot tonight. I am so ready to vote for him and have this election (to say nothing of the executive government of the last 8 years) over with! I have no doubt that Obama is going to win–and at least in the electoral college, probably win pretty big. I just can’t wait for it to be over.
Today’s reading: NEW SCIENTIST (October 25 issue) and SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN (November 2008).