catching up and other miscellany

First, I should say that Twitch is much better. He’s still not doing his daily tear around the house singing (or his kitty version of singing), but he’s definitely on the mend. Oliver is still at the Westport Humane Society—hope he gets a good home soon. I also got a new batch of cats looking for homes from Julie (a Humane Society volunteer), which I’ll get up on the Pets page tomorrow.

We dodged the bullet—no major storm for us. It didn’t even thunder, much to Ginger’s relief. I talked to a friend who lives in St. Louis and he said they got socked with about two inches of ice underneath several inches of snow—the ice storm knocked out power to 50,000. He was lucky. We got about one-third of an inch of rain, some wind (I don’t know if we lost any branches, too dark to tell), and a damned gloomy day, but that was it. The moon is visible now.

Next week will be a crazy week. I hope. We need a new roof (we’ve needed it for four or five years now) and last month we finally bit the bullet, got some estimates, and hired a roofing company out of Bridgeport to do it because we like the owner: Demetrius Pettway of Demetrius Pettway Construction. He was hoping to get to us before Thanksgiving, but we knew that wasn’t going to happen. He said he’d ask us for our deposit a couple of days before starting—and we paid the deposit yesterday. So, beginning next Tuesday or Wednesday, weather permitting, they’ll start our new roof. Hurray!

It’s going to cost us a little more than the estimates because we want a red roof, and the only red shingles that could be gotten are GAF 50-year shingles. So, it’s costing about $600 more than anticipated. Which is ok—we really want a red roof (we have one now). And we’ll be in our hundreds before we have to replace the roof again, barring natural disasters of the hurricane or tornado kind. Oh joy, no more buckets under leaks, and we can paint some walls without them decorated with brown drip tracks.

So, yeah, it’s going to be a PITA for a few days, and the dog will probably bark until she squeaks, and the real pain will come when we have to pay off the roof, but we really don’t have any choice.

Speaking of Ginger ...  ugh, ticks. We went up to Natick for Thanksgiving, and the dogs went for walks at Elm Bank as they usually do, but the place is loaded with ticks. Jeff took one off her on Saturday and we (well, Stanley, since I’m such a squeamish ass when I can be) took two more fat ones off her over the past couple of days as we’ve found them. Definitely we’ll put the tick crap on her before we head up there for Christmas, yuck. I’m surprised none of our Natick relatives have gotten Lyme, knock on wood. We don’t have ticks around our house because we don’t have any deer close by. At least not over the past five or six years. Big rats is all they are ...

And, in the world of work, we’re in the finishing stages of moving a bunch of stores to a new server, creating two new stores, and optimizing the existing stores, which has been an interesting process. I hate cgi-based shopping carts, and that’s what we’ve been moving. I’ll be glad when they’re all done so I can move on to the next development phase of this ecommerce project, which I’ve been anxious to continue working on.

And we started a website for a new client, rescuing a shitty design done by Lo ... s. I was shocked at how bad the work is—I thought they were better than the stuff they turned over. Maybe they had very inexperienced tyros on this project or something ... all table-based, very little CSS, definitely not scalable, and fugly, sloppy spacing, spelling, and screwed up characters—the top of the screen was all images, no text until nearly below the fold, no balance, the logo uses an ugly calligraphy font for a high tech firm and the kerning sucks and has a double swoosh ... when it’s all finished, I’d like to do a before and after though our client is so embarrassed by what Lo ... s came up with I don’t know if she’ll want me to.

I wonder if that company does any QA before they let stuff go out the door. Doesn’t look like it. There’s no excuse for such shoddy work—especially not at the rates they charge.

And I have to do a bunch of ExpressionEngine upgrades—not hard to do, just time consuming. And all that bloody bookkeeping.

And I still have tulips to get into the ground before it freezes up. Lots to do—my parents are visiting around Christmas, so I have plenty of incentive to get stuff done as soon as I can. I’m really looking forward to their visit.

So, am I overextended already this month? [drool]

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