Thursday, January 31, 2008

so bummed about edwards withdrawing

For sure, I thought, he’d stay in until February 5th. I’m convinced Edwards would’ve done much better if the media would have covered his campaign and his issues, but all the major newspapers and blabbermouths acted like there were only two candidates.

I really think Edwards has the best ideas and plans to benefit the majority of Americans. Ah well. Maybe whomever wins will be smart enough to give him a significant cabinet post.

Barak Obama is my second choice, well, really my third choice since my second choice is really Al Gore, so that’s who I’ll be voting for next week. Obama, I mean, not Gore (I wish). I’m not really thrilled about him, not much of a record to look at, but at least he thinks and I think he’ll be wise enough to tap the best and the brightest for his government. But I’m not excited enough about him to campaign for him. At least not yet.

The only way I will ever vote for Hillary Clinton is if she ends up the Democratic nominee and voting for a third-party candidate would result in a Republican back in the White House. I still haven’t forgiven her for botching universal health care. I detest Bill Clinton—I never voted for him, I voted for the lunatic Perot both times. We need to move beyond the bullshit-as-usual brand of Clintonism (both of them). The nineties are so over.

The blabbering pundits are kind of stupid about endorsements. Olbermann, Matthews, others I’ve heard say that endorsements really don’t matter to voters. I think they’re full of crap about that. Endorsements matter to me. They matter to our once-Republican (a pre-W ‘publican)—he said about Caroline Kennedy’s endorsement of Obama, “If she thinks highly enough of him to compare him with her father and get involved when she never has before, that says something about him. I’m voting for Barak.”

OTHER STUFF
I’ve been doing better about work and getting a little more sleep. And reading more this week. I’m not where I want to be yet, but a bit closer. Progress, not perfection, hey?

Poor Ginger. She encountered the skunk again. Not nearly as bad this time—seems like she got it mostly in the mouth. Biggest thing was getting her upstairs and into the bathtub rather than hiding on her nest in the office. Got her up there and yelled at her as she was heading for her bed rather than the tub, but she finally jumped into the tub. Stanley got out of bed to put the Skunk Off on her—we saturated her with it and will give her a bath tomorrow. The odor was eye-watering at first, but has died down a lot, more at the mild rotting onions stage now. I’ll light some candles, put some orange peels in water on the radiator ...

in the morning.

posted by lee on 01/31/08 at 08:59 AM

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

weekends are not long enough

In my head, I have this project list of stuff I want to get done over the weekend. Or several weekends. It’s really organized into Big Projects: Dig out and organize 1) my Sanctuary/Guest Room, 2) our Bedroom, 3) Sewing Room (for lack of a better name—it’s where our sewing machines and craft crap is now), and 4) the Living Room. The primary purpose is to declutter and clean. Mainly declutter.

In my sanctuary, which is also the guest room, I need to put away my clothes (the downside of living in a 200-year-old house is that closets are a joke, IF there are even any closets in the room to begin with), wash the quilts and remake the bed and figure out how to keep the cat hair off (I guess I will have to break down and use a throw, which I hate since I have such pretty bedding in there), clean the floors and make space so I can actually do yoga if I ever can get myself motivated enough to put in the yoga CD I got two years ago. That’s phase one. Phase two is refinishing the wood paneling (it’s real wood paneling—not that fake crap), re-doing the floor, and painting what little trim there is there—it looks exactly the same as it did in 1955 except that we turned the twin-size captain’s bed into a double bed.

Our bedroom is not so much work: just decluttering the nightstands, making Stanley put away his clothes, and vacuuming about ninety pounds of dog and cat hair out of there. Stanley already began painting the room—it will be stunning if we ever finish it. The walls are the color of twilight just before full dark and the cabinet doors and drawer fronts are a deep orangey-rust, with the ceiling and trim and doors bright white. We need to stain the dresser top and counter tops mahogany to match our bed (our antique four-poster that Stanley refinished—it’s beautiful) and copper-leaf the frame around the mirror and the radiator cover insets, and that will be done. It sounds like having deep blue walls would be oppressive, but it’s not at all—it’s very beautiful.

And the sewing room ... have to get rid of junk that I haven’t touched in all the years I’ve been here, unclutter big time. I found beautiful wallpaper for the non-paneled walls (the good paneling, again—needs refinishing to restore them) to cover up the pegboard and Stanley can put his built-in desk back together—and then we can set up at least one of our sewing machines. I need a new area rug, and we need to put up some bookcases, and I need a new counter top or a way to paint Formica, and that room will be done. The Formica is this hideous fake walnut wood Formica—it’s not even anything cool that I could go with to make the room a real retro style room. I read somewhere that there is a way to refinish Formica—but I just don’t want to go through all that trouble and have it end up looking like painted over Formica.

And finally, the living room. Which is just a matter of emptying and getting rid of the rest of the boxes that have been living there since Stanley emptied his storage bin. We got rid of more than half of them already—we’ve just run out of room for the books (oh, did I mention? The boxes were and are primarily boxes of books). The living room, when emptied of boxes, is beautiful. There’s something about the proportions that just work in there, with a fireplace diagonally across one wall, two arches, plaster walls, nicely placed windows. Of course the antique Queen Anne chair badly needs reupholstering, as does the small couch and the seats on some of the chairs (just covering them—we saw on Antiques Roadshow that the original seating material makes the chair a lot more valuable even if it’s disgusting). There’s one small sofa that I’d dearly love to get for the room, a colonial style with a Jacobean pattern. And I’d like to put an table Stanley has stashed next to the windows. But mainly the room doesn’t need much done to it once we get rid of the boxes. We have some more artwork to put up. It’s just such a serene and lovely place when not used as a storage room that I can’t wait to get it back to that state.

So that’s my master plan. Trouble is, it has been for about two months now. Saturday comes and I just am so tired I can’t get motivated to do anything major, or I have work I need to catch up on. I know my main problem is that I need to organize days better. Organize my days, period. I tend to let work take over, but it takes me quite a while in the morning to actually get started on specific tasks after dealing with my email and catching up on the news. I know I need to structure things to spend only so much time in the office working, and get that started earlier in the day (I procrastinate, but lately it’s been much worse than ever), and build in all the odds and ends I know will make my life more functional. And take Ginger for a walk at 5:00 instead of listening to the talking heads on MSNBC.

So Monday, January 28, I’ll start on my first work task within an hour after sitting down at my desk (an hour should do it for email and catching up), I will take a real break for lunch, I will take a cleaning break (one book I read suggests spending five minutes a day cleaning one room that needs it, or maybe it was ten minutes, but at any rate if you do it every day things don’t get so out of control), I will walk Ginger at 5 pm or play the ball-up-the-stairs game if it’s bad weather, I will spend ten minutes each evening decluttering a square foot or a stack or drawer at a time, I will stop working after I get 5-6 solid billable hours in per day (unless I’m in flow—it’s just too stupid for me to stop during flow), I will spend 30 minutes a day just reading (I have so many books waiting!) and to do the reading I will start going to bed a lot earlier than I have been. I’ve gotten into a bad habit of staying up all night whether or not I’m working on something, sometimes just staring at whatever is on HGTV like some mindless blob if I don’t fall asleep on the couch during Countdown. And thinking while staring at the how-tos that I could be doing something while watching it instead of just sitting there.

Stanley has been pretty patient with me during this latest bout of blobness, but it’s not fair to him. I might not be able to do the dishes, but I can sweep! I think I’m getting tired of this too, so this impetus to change my ways has finally hit. Especially since I accomplished nothing outside of getting some work done (billable work, I mean) this weekend and that’s not enough—nothing that I wanted to do, which is stressing me out even more than I have been.

Anniversary lilies next to the window at sunset, January 25, 2008

Last week, on January 23, it was our third wedding anniversary. Stanley gave me two bouquets of flowers, roses and the Peruvian lilies (click to enlarge the photo) I love, and a mushy card that made me really happy (he rarely gives me mushy cards). I gave him a card and took him to dinner at Bond, which we enjoyed. For my anniversary gift I told Stanley I want half of a snow blower, and he said we could get one though he doesn’t see the point since it hasn’t snowed much this year. I’m not sure if we should just get something else or just go get the snow blower. I know the anniversary is leather, but I don’t need or want anything leather (he already replaced the purse his cat destroyed!) and I’m thinking it would be a nice anniversary present to get something for us, like something for the house. And the last time we (mostly Stanley) had to shovel was really a bitch—we’re both getting too old for that nonsense; who needs a heart attack? I think if we decide to get something else, we’ll be hit with several bad blizzards and if we do get the snow blower, it won’t snow until 2011. (Superstitious? Me?)

Off to bed with me—I really want to get up earlier tomorrow so I’m tired tomorrow night ...

posted by lee on 01/27/08 at 11:30 PM

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

distractions

It’s really difficult to concentrate on what I’m supposed to be working on when there is a spastic cat next to my computer. Slink, you see, is stalking a squirrel. But the squirrel is outside and Slink is behind two panes of glass. Cat claws on glass: not a pretty sound. He keeps making this funny sound, too.

Our data center, which hosts all of the servers we manage, has been having problems today. What a nightmare. Stray packets or something is causing their backbone to go down, intermittently anyway. The joys of web hosting.

Check out Modern Meat. Or don’t. Unless you’re looking for reasons not to eat so much of it.

And here we have Neatorama. I particularly like the video of the guy playing “Angels We Have Heard on High” on broccoli. Enough weird stuff to keep you wasting time for hours.

And finally, one of the web-based applications I quite like: Gootodo.com. It’s a to-do list, nothing more, nothing fancy. It carries over undone tasks, and you can email it new tasks (I just forward emails with marching orders to the appropriate day). It’s not perfect, but it’s the best I’ve found (and yes, I’m one who needs lists). It was created by Mark Hurst, guru of good experience and author of Bit Literacy, a book that teaches you how to manage digital information overload (like email).

Ok, Slink has given up. I guess I should get back to work now.

 

posted by lee on 01/17/08 at 11:05 AM

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Friday, January 11, 2008

chris matthews has foot in mouth and head up ass

Chris Matthews gets more and more offensive. I don’t like Hillary as a candidate, but his sexist crap about her offends me nearly every day.

UPDATE: I’m not sure if this animation (by Scott Bateman) will work—sometimes when I try to play it, the audio portion doesn’t work. At least not in Firefox.

The audio is of Chris Matthews spewing on about how the only reason Hillary Clinton was able to get elected Senator is because her husband fooled around. And more repugnant blather in that vein. Oh wait, here is the actual quote: “[T]he reason she’s a U.S. senator, the reason she’s a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner is her husband messed around. That’s how she got to be senator from New York. We keep forgetting it. She didn’t win there on her merit. She won because everybody felt, ‘My God, this woman stood up under humiliation,’ right? That’s what happened.”

And here is the link to the video where you can hear it spewing from his own sexist mouth. What he said on this video is what’s running in the background of Scott’s animation.

MSNBC should get rid of this blowhard and give the show to Rachel Maddow (Air America)—would be really great to see someone intelligent in this time slot. And so refreshing to be able to listen to an intelligent, liberal woman instead of Blowhard Matthews.

Have fewer problems with Keith Olbermann—needs his head examined, though, about his obsession with Britney Spears. His nearly nightly mention of her was never funny to begin with—it’s pretty sad to see him pick on someone who is clearly sick in order to fill a five-minute program hole. Makes him seem really creepy, like some guy we might see on that entrapment show about the pedophiles MSNBC does. Olbermann + Britney = Eeeeyeww ... especially when he gets that übercreep Michael Musto involved in the discussion.

posted by lee on 01/11/08 at 02:32 PM

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