This is my first weekend without a Sunday night during which I can get all sloppy. I report to work at 8am on Monday. It'll be a change, for certain, but one for which I'm quite ready. Because of an excess amount of bills, mostly having to do with moving this past month, I am staying in Kansas City this weekend, and not going to Iowa City with my friends. I'm pretty bummed about it, and further, Brian is leaving town, this weekend, so I'll be all by my lonesome until after work on Monday. I think I'll busy myself with some PC repairs.
I have been working the new job for only a couple of days, but I already love it. The people I work with are really friendly, and seem to know what they're talking about, much more than the average person at my previous jobs. I am enjoying the work immensely, though I would love to not be oncall anymore, and just spend my time at work working on tools and things. All in due time, I suppose. For now, I am still just getting used to working days, getting up at 6, and carrying out my life like a normal person. It's been three years since I worked days, and it's not that I dislike it- far from it -it's that I feel like, all of a sudden, I am immersed in the "real world."
I have a pager, an office, a laptop, and more reign than I have ever had at a job. I just hope I don't get used to all of it too soon.
Since I have a cubicle at work now, I thought I should get some decoration for it. I figured a good place to start would be with a big poster of this. It should arrive within a week or so. Until then, my cube is looking pretty bare.
Yes, I know. The website puked this weekend. Thank you for all the phonecalls and emails reminding me. I was thinking of writing a shell script that tells me when the site goes down, but after this weekend, I see that that is completely unnecessary, with you people here. Kidding aside, I came home from Chicago(which was awesome, by the way), and found that my server was refusing connections of any kind. My immediate thought was the action of a concern I had on the back burner being brought to the front burner, and poured on my feet(figuratively, of course). I have been worried for some time about the hard drive I bought in 1997 dying of old age.
It turned out that, for some reason, the machine has spontaneously grabbed a bogus IP address from the router, and was enjoying its rest. I put a stop to that, crawling around under my desk, swapping cables, and uttering swear words at the computers. All should be up and ready to go now, except that I still need to sort out why my internet connection keeps spontaneously dying, itself. More on that as it develops.
The crown jewel to my weekend is the fact that I have the distinct honor of staying at the office and babysitting a release shakeout until 7 in the morning. So, I am sitting in this dark cubicle all night, listening to a bridge of people go over the fine points of every little aspect of this release. 99.9% of these points have nothing to do with my job. But hey, this is the job that I took, and really, doing these things don't really bother me that much. I'm on call, but I won't be, for the next two weeks.
Brian and I went to Fiorella's for dinner tonight, and feasted wonderfully on barbecued lamb ribs and beef burnt ends. I complemented my dinner with a bottle of Chimay Grand Reserve. I don't make it out to Fiorella's very often, so I figured I'd go the whole nine. It was the kind of meal that leaves you relishing your burps, and taking repeated contemplative deep breaths. I can think of no place in Kansas City that I enjoy more, for dinner.
This past week, I inducted another organization into the Hall of Fame of stupidity. The likes of SCO, Adobe, and most american taxpayers have been joined by the Kansas City Police Department. While Brian and I were driving home from somewhere, we spotted a cop tooling around on a Segway leg substitute. These moronic devices, these manifestations of the extent of American sloth, are springing up all over the country, helping protect the right of thousands of public servants to be as obese as they want to be, and the city that hates when you use your legs has dumped untold tens of thousands of hardly collected taxpayer dollars into these ridiculous contraptions.
Kansas City Police Department, I salute your ability to waste our money on making yourself less effective, and encouraging your agents to give up on their primitive body parts. Welcome to the Stupid Hall of Fame!
Another round of Sprint layoffs came through, and was apparently supposed to affect my group. My manager came by my cube this morning and told me I was fine. I have gotten a couple of mass "Good-bye" emails from people all around me, and I wonder just how many people are going to be gone. One thing, I think, is for sure: I am going to be on call more often for a while.
I've been riding the bus now for about 2 months, and I still love it. As a matter of habit, I always look at gas prices when I pass a service station, and respond with a sigh of relief or an angry chortle. Today, when the bus passed the BP on Westport, I saw that gas had gone up another 4 cents or so, and I said "dammit," quietly to myself, and then I came to a sort of realization: I don't care. I spend $8-$10 dollars a week to get to work, whether gas costs $1.25 or $3.25 a gallon. I am out of traffic, and love the idea of it.
When I first started riding the bus regularly, I would take a book with me to pass the time for the 40-minute ride. Now, I still take a book with me, but I rarely get a chance to read it. I find it's much more interesting to look out the windows of the bus at all the sights and small details that I was never able to really look at when I drove: houses, plants, buildings, gardens, angry drivers, people, billboards, parks, storefronts, schools, hospitals, and all the other interesting things to look at along the way.
I thought to myself, the other day, "when will I have a reason to use my car again?" The simple answer came: "When I want to leave town." It feels really liberating to put only a handful of miles on the car a month. It helps me preserve the car's value, reduces pollution and gas use, gets me out on my feet for a little welcome exercise, and dramatically reduces my chances of getting into a car accident or getting a speeding ticket. All in all, I love riding the bus, and I think more people should do it.
Holy crap it is cold outside! When I walked past a bank on the way to the bus stop this morning, I spotted the time and temperature sign, and just after flashing "7:28 AM"(indicating that I was running late), it read 16° F. It was 75° last week! Ah, well, such is the indecisive nature of Kansas City's weather, when we're out of the blistering hot season.
Brian and I made a delicius Italian meal last night, of prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella rotolas, doused ridiculously in olive oil, along with some kind of excellent pasta. We followed that with a two-hour conversation, while we finished off the array of delicious, seasonal, but mostly winter beers we had stockpiled. Now that I think of it, I drank a good deal more beer than I imagined we would have, especially on a night before work. Three of the beers' number were winter warmer beers, and they absolutely hit the spot. I slept like a baby, and woke up with acute indigestion, five minutes before my alarm went off.
I purchased a new dresser on Saturday, and when I get it home, I'll let you know what it looks like, with a photograph.
Next week, two more installments in one of my favorite series, Horatio Hornblower, will run on the A & E network. Sorry about the link having audio, by the way. The series is wonderfully devoid of modern movie sensibilities, and tries to appear as historically authentic as possible. If you haven't seen these movies, then I highly recommend picking up the DVDs, as they can be had for very little money, and make sure to watch the two new ones next week.
Also, I've just finalized plans to go skiing at Snowmass over the New Year weekend. If you want to meet me there, that's when you'll find me. I'll have a blue coat on, and I'll be surrounded by countless international beautiful ladies.
Thanksgiving was fun. I took the train to Peoria, and realized harshly that it's much colder there. I realized that again when I got off the train in KC, where it was 50° again. I saw the movie Elf, and was very pleased at how good it was. However, I was on the edge of rage when the movie was "about" to start, and we were treated to more and longer commercials than during a Super Bowl break. I regret not having complained to the theater's management. I can kind of understand making us sit through movie previews for ten or fifteen minutes, but we were just sitting watching product commercials, waiting to watch a movie we paid $6 to see, for a matinee.
Also, I caught enough of The Rules of Attraction last night to see the suicide scene, which I hadn't previously seen. It's amazing and shocking, like the scene in Full Metal Jacket when Pyle shoots himself. Just like that scene, I can't get this one out of my head, either.