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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

How Come "Not So Busy" Still Feels So Busy?

Here's my plans for tonight:

1) Fix the registry on the upstairs computer, and try to eradicate the remaining spyware.
2) Choir practice.
3) Patch the walls in the back room.
4) Continue re-write on my novel.
5) Deliver papers with my son.

Sounds full enough, eh? I don't know that I'll get all that done -- the patching and the computer repair are both big jobs, so I doubt I can get 'em both done -- but I'm gonna try.

It would be easier if I had slept last night. For some reason, I laid awake last night until 4:00 a.m.


Bugs're multiplyin'

Still fighting the spyware/virus/malware problem on the upstairs computer. Really really infuriating.

Spent about 3 1/2 hours on it last night, and had some success -- it's not nearly as infected as it once was (at first, it was flinging up popup/spam crap about every 10 seconds; now it's only doing it about once every 10 minutes) -- but it's still infected, and still as annoying as hell.

Plus, in the course of it, I've lost access to the Add/Remove Programs routine, and my windows explorer is I need to fix those, too (which involved registry changes (which scare me worser'n Jason/Freddy/Dubya)).

Back to the fray tonight.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Evil Little Bugs

I spent about 3 hours last night, trying to rid my daughter's computer of a nasty bit of spyware/virus. This is the second time I've had to do it to her machine. It's really pretty sickening.

The worst part is that it's not cleaned yet...there's some nasty piece of dung called "pop64" burrowed into the registry. It is a malicious piece of spyware, and it propogates itself into lots of other seconds, it puts literally dozens (or hundreds) of other spyware routines on your machine....I haven't quite got it figured out yet, but I think -- I think! -- I'll get it tonight.

It's really infuriating, though -- to have to spend hours and hours and hours fixing a machine because someone just happens to go a web site is sickening. Trust me, I could (and undoubtedly would) inflict major damage on these guys if I were face-to-face with them. It's just evil.

Monday, January 23, 2006

One more thing...done!

Had a marketing meeting last night -- the poster for the next show is done and approved. I also finished the brochure we're making, and it was unanimously (and with no requested changes) approved.

These are nice projects, and they came out well....and man it's nice to have 'em off my list.

This week I'll be focusing on the back room -- finishing the walls, putting up a chair rail, so forth. I'm planning to have it done by the end of next weekend, which will be a good thing.

Progress, man.

Catchin' Up

Well, last week was largely a week just for catching up on stuff. Worked around the house a lot, did some theatre stuff....

I also made a box for my niece's 7th birthday. This was the first actual 'project' from my scroll saw, and I think it came out okay:
I can see all the mistakes I made in it, all the flaws....but hey, she's 7. She liked it a lot. She's really into fairies (and kids love boxes to keep their stuff in), so this worked for her. It opens by rotating the lid:
All in all, it came out okay (and I learned a lot while doing it).

Friday, January 13, 2006

It's cool when it's cool

Wednesday was one of those rare and excellent days at work. We had a problem (wasn't too huge, but had the potential to be a disaster) with some of our online services. In the course of one day, I analyzed the problem designed the three separate solutions that needed to be implemented; coordinated the building of those solutions with Mike, and implemented 'em all.

Then I was able to get the data re-normalized, converted, and uploaded so that by Thursday, everything worked right (in fact, was much improved over how it worked previously).

Anyway. The point is not that I did so much work, but that the day went well. It's kind of cool when you have 'x' amount of stuff that you have to do, but when you can get it all accomplished in the required time. Felt productive and, I don't know, important....and every single step -- write a code piece, test it against a small sample, test it against a larger sample, implement -- worked first time.

It'd be nice if most days were like that, but they're just.....not.


Last night, I led another theatre class. We did special effects -- made fake blood, used kryolan powder to simulate cutting my wrists with a knife, demonstrated flash paper (very cool!), made a snow machine -- and also did some acting exercises.

It went extraordinarily well, I think. Certainly seemed to maintain their interest and enthusiasm for two hours, which is no small feat.

I was exhausted by the time it was over, though.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Resolution Movement

Well, I made (minor) steps on my goal to give up some of the crap to which I have committed: I told my minister that I would not participate on the committee he asked me. This doesn't seem like a big deal, but "no" is pretty hard for me.

Particularly when it's something I'm (pretty) sure I could really help with. Gotta (somehow) get over the whole Clark Kent syndrome.

I also have outlined a plan to back out of the CA job and the projector operator job....both of these are scheduled through May. I'll complete the schedule, but after that, I'm not doin' it. Again, minor steps...but big ones for me.

Now to find a way to get someone to prepare the theatre program and design (at least some of) the sets....and to get someone else to prepare the Scout videos.

Age causes pain and memory loss

For the past month or so, I've had a headache (it varies in intensity from day to day, but doesn't actually go away); and both knees ache crazily. They take turns, the little traitors, but they don't seem inclined to give up the sharp little jolts of pain whenever I take even one step up or (especially!) down the stairs.

I'm starting (really, I am!) a morning regimen of light workouts and a walk every single day. That's my plan, at least. It'll be good for me (physically and psychologically) even if it doesn't actually help with the (stupid) knee pain.

I think I need a vacation (which sounds stupid, given that I just had several days off for the holidays -- but I'm not sure they count). I think a week of lounging in Acapulco would do me 'bout right.


It would appear that I have resolved not to do anything; given that I haven't blogged in forever...but actually, I've been busier'n Fema ("You're doin' a heckuva job, Teddy").

In the past 10 days (this by way of keeping track (dunno why) of the stuff I've been doin'), I've:

stripped wallpaper in one room
painted the ceiling in said room
rewired two lamps
(finally!) organized and put away (neatly!) my backpacking gear
fixed the outside light by the laundry room
wired and installed a light with a motion detector on the deck
took down the tree, boxed up the Christmas decorations, and put 'em all away!
cleared useless crap from the garage (to the attic and/or the shed)
reformatted and set up Michael's computer and Mackenzie's computer
repaired the broken ping-pong table
organized and decrapped the back basement; and cleared (mostly) the wooden shelves
worked on the rewrite of my novel

Huh. Doesn't seem like that much when I write it all down, but it felt like a lot when I was doin' it. Still, there is a ton to do (especially in the basement), but one day at a time will (in theory) get it done. Of course, in theory, Communism works.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Well, last year I made some resolutions. I don't always (or even often) make 'em, but last year I gave myself a few. I have prided myself, in the past, on fulfilling my resolutions when I do make 'em.

That said, last year was a bad year for 'em. I said I would give up coffee -- but I didn't. I did cut down quite a bit, which counts for something, but basically, that resolution was a failure.

I also said I would finish my novel. Up until hitting the insanity of my fall schedule, I did work on it almost every day. The novel is done, but it need serious re-write, and I'm about halfway through it in re-write. From about September on, though, I didn't touch it. So, that resolution was a failure.

The third resolution I gave myself was to hike the entire Cleveland Metroparks System. That one I at least I didn't utterly fail.

I also, like most the free world, resolved to lose weight.....failed.

So. This year, I'm only making one "resolution", although I still hope to accomplish most of the things I resolved earlier. The one resolution for this year is to say "no" a lot -- a lot -- more. I'm going to stop doing many of the things I'm currently doing, too. That's gonna be hard. It's one thing to say "no" to new tasks that people ask you to do --it's quite another to say you're going to stop doing the things to which you're already committed...but I'm gonna. I have to. I'm going to give up at least two things I do for the boy scouts; at least two things I do for the theatre, at least two things I do for the church...and I'm not going to replace them with new things.

Thus resolved: this year is (at least partly) for me.


Still focusing on organizing and remodeling the house....the initial goal is to get the basement uncrapped, so that the ping-pong table can go down there before the Super Bowl (which is February 2nd (I think)). In addition to moving the ping-pong table, I want to get the ceiling and walls of our family room re-painted and faux textured. I think it's too ambitious to try to build the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves before the Super Bowl, but I can get the room done except for that, I think. I also want to put up some kind of decent lighting down in the basement, so that we can actually play ping-pong without wearing miner's headlamps. Miner's headlamps are such a fashion faux pas.

Towards the goal of clearing the basement, I put in a decent night of working there last night. Man oh man, but there's a lot of crap down there. I took out a ton of stuff for today's garbage collection -- the tree lawn is covered in crap -- and yet the basement looks barely touched.

Ah, well -- when you take years and years and years to accumulate unorganized crap in a space, you can't expect to get it cleared and organized overnight. The key for me, though, is to force myself to keep working on it. Every day. 's not gonna get done unless I do.

One of the advantages of the insane task schedule I gave myself last year is that I learned how to make myself focus on tasking every single day....and this is easier than that was, because at least these tasks are for me.

This year, besides repainting et al the back room, I also want to build floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in it. I also want to build a new counter top for the kitchen, replace the sink and faucet (and basically just replumb it), and put tile up on the walls. I'll probably also wallpaper the kitchen.

After those rooms are done, I will get after finishing that basement. I have some cool ideas for finishing it -- I can't wait to get to it.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

This is the year

There's a reason why every day ends; why every year ends. We do love new beginnings.

This is a magical world, like having a big white sheet of paper to draw on.

This is the year.