January 2006 Archives

Time Bombs

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There's a section of my backyard that I typically let 'go feral.' It hasn't got much attention.. ivy covers the fence and part of the land, and dandelions and assorted weeds have in the past been given free-reign next to the neighbor's yard.

That ends this year.

The next door neighbors to the north have put in an enormous garden in the part of their backyard that is close to my dandelion patch, growing fruits and veggies, and often sharing them with us. What kind of neighbor would I be if I helped propogate these weeds into their fertile soil?

War has begun on two fronts against the dandelions in particular. I spent time decapitating all these nasty blooms I could see in the yard, hopefully preventing their offspring from continuing the cycle. Next, the remaining foliage got a dose of Weed-B-Gone. Hopefully these rougue elements will wither under the chemical bombardment. Today was a bit breezy, so I gave up a bit of ground when some of the mature white blooms got some seeds off.

It's a war of attrition though.

I'll be back tomorrow looking for their scout and resupply lines. And should those seeds have taken root, the chemical warfare will resume.

Week at home

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So the new job has up-sides and down-sides. This week I have been at home, since the end customer was not ready to kick off their project. Its nice being home and able to do things during the day, but the comp plan I'm on means that a week at home is a week without being eligible for the bonus kickers. That's a drag. Its also been a little contentious being at home while Chaz is doing his job search. Admittedly, there's not much to do but call and put resumes out there, but there's plenty of tasks around the house that need to get done as well. We made a list of things that have been started in the past 8 years and not quite finished; hopefully that list will be reduced quite a bit during this downtime. One of the big projects is refinishing the concrete countertops in the kitchen. It'll mean eating out a few more times, but they'll look and perform better. I had lunch with some former colleagues on Monday, and hopefully I'll see a couple of them at the office today if I go there for happy hour. They owe me a couple of beers I think.


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I'm in the Boston Logan airport lounge with a cold Heineken in one hand, a warm laptop on my legs, and Pete Tong's Essential Selection streaming into my headphones live from somewhere across the Atlantic. Some parts of being a consultant aren't too bad, I must admit. Now, in an hour when they pack me into a tube of aluminum and hurl me through the sky, I reserve the right to feel slightly different. Tonight's routing is Boston -> Newark, NJ -> Austin. The second leg is in a 737-700, so they should be showing a movie that direction.

Other than the freak storm on Wednesday, the week in Boston was uneventful, and even though it was a bit boring going through a 4-day PowerPoint marathon, it was educational in terms of the work I'm going to do. And I racked up some miles which might get me to Mexico to a beach next month. The beach is sounding better and better each day.

The partner company that hosted the training has its roots in the Czech Republic, which made this one of the most international couple of weeks I've had in quite a while. While I pride myself on trying to pick up at least bits and pieces of language from people, I can honestly say for some reason that I'm walking away not remembering a single word they tried to teach me. In addition to the Czechs, there was one Russian from Chicago, a few frenchmen, en Kees uit Amsterdam! NLers are everywhere, I thought as I filled up at the Shell station. The czech's were very sharp, being able to pick up on some quite subtle humor and teasing, although there was one guy, who at 6 foot 4 (192cm) and 250 lbs (114kg), didn't quite understand why I kept saying "Hey, Tiny!" to him. He'll pick up on it later.


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I'm a drowned rat after running from the car to the office for the training sessions. Now if I could only bring this back to Texas. It hasn't rained at home since December 7th.

Quick stop in the rust belt

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As we came in to land in Cleveland, the sun raked through naked trees and across fields where a small bit of snow hid in shadows. Quick layover before heading into Boston where its quite frigid today. Not many travellers considering the MLK holiday.

Never Assume

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Had a great post going yesterday, but it got lost in a power hiccup.

Charles' mom went in the hospital Friday after having taken a fall and breaking her leg above where she had a knee replacement 2 years ago. surgery was Saturday, so we've been and will be visiting her pretty frequently at the hospital. What with Philip's back surgery, Bud's appendectomy, Charles' mom, and Mel's upcoming surgery, I should be getting a frequent parker discount at the hospitals around Austin. Is this what getting older is about?
Trip back from Boston was uneventful, and I'm heading out again today for most of the week. This time will have a vehicle, so might make it into town. Much easier to pack today, as it was nearly all ready for me.
Did a bit of motorcycle riding on Saturday, while Friday night I went out to GQB and then out with friends. Had a great time.
Sunday afternoon Chaz & I went to see Spielberg's "Munich". I liked the film, but I'm not quite sure how to describe it, as it was heavy-handed in parts, and a bit silly in others. Will take some processing I think.

Click 'Watch'

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Wednesday update from Burlington, MA

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Me and my new colleague kicked butt and took names in the class today.. got through the material in no time flat, and did some exploring beyond the course. Shut down the two guys from Accenture, and got outta class at 3:30! Went to dinner with the 'class', and ate the requisite chowder and seafood. Getting out early meant time to get in some time on the crosstrainer.. time well spent. Tomorrow a few more hours of the class, then 8 hours getting home: a few in the airport, a few in the air, and home to the hottub. Mmmm...


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Class got interrupted today at 2pm with a fire alarm. Wiring work in the building set off the alarms.. down the stairs and out into the cold we went. I got a couple of photos.. three trucks even! Unfortuately I don't have my card adapter to upload the photos.

Boston Legal is hilarious: "From now on these blinds go down before anyone else". HA!

January thaw

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Was up early to get to a breakfast with my new coworker and Geoff, the new boss. Geoff had a longer travel day than I did, so had a good excuse for oversleeping his alarm. I was up at 5 eastern, as my body I suppose has to get back adjusted to crashing in a foreign bed. Not that its a bad thing - the Marriott has some sweeeeeeet pillows!

Blue skies and temperatures well above freezing.. I'm sure I'm jinxing a later trip, but Boston isn't so bad during one of these "January thaws".

A page turned.

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Continental Flight 582 from Houston to Boston is on time, hurtling through the inky open sky on the way to the next chapter for me. Today I start with a new company that's stacked with some of my old friends. My first gig is doing a 2 week training course in Boston with a company called Systinet. My company will be partnering with them on a couple of gigs to implement their software. I think it will be great to get off the treadmill of being a software vendor for a while. Motive was a fun ride, but the time was right to make a change. If i had been asked where I wanted to go in January for training, I think Boston would be one of the last places to get picked, but then I didn't get asked.

Knowing I'd be heading up to winter today, Charles and I went out in the sun and wind yesterday and spent a few hours on the motorcycles. We had a good ride up north and east of Austin, passed the old Celle community house, a ranch in Plugerville that has a few dozen head of zebra, and up to Weir to visit Chaz's parents. I hope I saved up enough sun and warmth to last through three cold Boston nights.

One major chore that I knocked out this week was cleaning out the closet in the office. Its brought up a bit of a dilemma though. Throughout my travels and studies in the eighties and ninetys, quite a bit of old corresspondence has stacked up and is in shoe boxes in the closets. Old snail mail, photos, cards. Its all there. I haven't touched it in years, and I'm not quite sure whether I everwill; this stuff is an artifact from a time prior to the internet and this form of journalling. I'm sure kids doing foreign exchange studies abroad today aren't nearly as paper-based. Should I keep this stuff? Who's going to read it if I'm not around? Its probably on its way out, but I'll save if a few more months.

Holiday season was festive despite having the slight detour with my dad's side of the family for my grandmother's funeral. Good parties, good food, and now plenty of excess to work off while on the road. The funeral was what we expected, a smaller affair. I think as a family we're glad to have made it through; Charles thought it a bit strange, as he's used to quite more elaborate catholic services.

I've arrived in Boston, and a friend of mine from college gave me a lift to my hotel out in the Boston burbs. They're calling it a January thaw this week with sun forecast, along with temperatures around 45 degrees. Wheh! I'll wear my sweater.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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