Another Weekly Update

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

Here's a secret: I am actually writing this entry Monday morning, not Sunday night. Once again, it has been over a week since I've written an entry. Granted, I have been fairly busy with moving back into my apartment, but not so busy that I haven't had time to write.

So, when I last wrote, I was just getting ready to leave my hotel in Indy, and return to Kalamazoo. When I got to work the next Friday, I asked Bruce (my boss in Kalamazoo) about the next project he was trying to line up for me, and he told me that he was not able to get in touch with the people I would be working with, and that he wanted me to stay in Indy to keep working on the project down there. Well, fortunately, I had already talked with Rick, my boss in Indy, and we had agreed that I could do my remaining project work from the office here in Kalamazoo. Very good, since I really could not handle living in a hotel for any longer than the almost four months I had been there.

So, my plan for that Friday evening had been to drive up to Logansport to see Dave race; however, I got a call from Dave that afternoon, saying that the race for that evening had been rained out. So, I went to hang out with Dave and his racing teammate, Nick, for the evening. I got dinner, we loaded the cars into the trailer (for the following day's race), and then went to see "Swordfish." The next morning I checked out of my hotel - finally - and drove up to Angola to pick up Erica.

Erica and I were going to a wedding in Peru, IN, of one of my social fraternity brothers. On our way, we stopped at Erica's cousin's birthday party (he was turning six, I believe). True to family fashion, we arrived five minutes after the party was supposed to start, and we were the first to arrive. We only stayed for a few minutes, because we were already late for leaving for the wedding. Although we were almost fifteen minutes late to the wedding, the weather was gorgeous, and the drive from Angola to Peru was really nice. Fortunately, the wedding was a full Catholic mass ceremony, so we were able to sneak in the back after the homily.

Since the bride was also one of my pretty good friends (she went to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, the all-female Catholic school in the same city where I went to school), I knew a lot of people at the wedding. Erica got to meet not only a lot of my fraternity brothers (and fellow alumna), but also a lot of my female friends from college. While the wedding ceremony was held in a beautiful church in Peru, the reception was held at the old Air Force base nearby. We followed the signs to the base entrance, but unfortunately the signs we followed led to a closed gate. So, we drove around, following the fences, hoping to find the main entrance again. At one point, Erica suggested that we just scale the fence to get into the base. A short time later, I found a gate, and drove in, but something on the sign at the gate caught my eye. I stopped, and asked Erica what it said, but she hadn't noticed it. So, I backed up to read the sign, which read "Miami County Correctional Facility." As it was, Erica had suggested that we attempt to break in to a prison - which might very well have been a first for the Miami County Correctional Facility.

We ended up finding the right gate - and the reception - in plenty of time. Dinner was good (buffet, which meant I had no problems getting enough low-carb food), and the dancing afterward was good as well (all five hours of it!). I found out that some of my fraternity brothers were staying at the same hotel as we were, so when we got to the hotel, we visited them for a little while, and then went to bed, because we were both really tired. The next morning, we checked out, drove around Peru for a while trying to find somewhere to eat, and then I drove Erica home and FINALLY got back to my apartment. I moved everything in from the car that night, but didn't even try to start putting things away.

My first couple of days back in the office, I spent moving into a new cubicle and reformatting my laptop. Since the acquisition of the other upstairs suite was completed while I was in Indy, most of the PS folks had all moved across the hall. That meant that we PAC guys had completed our moves - one of our PE's (Professional Engineer) moved into an office, and I took over his cube, since it has a window. I had been needing to reformat my laptop for a few months, but had wanted to wait until I got back from Indy to do so. I got both done Monday and Tuesday.

When I picked up the key to my new garage, I found out that I really was not supposed to keep anything except my car in it, so that precluded me keeping a grill in there. So, I decided just to buy a Weber kettle charcoal grill, and use the money I had saved for the nice gas grill to buy a computer for my apartment. I bought a Sony Vaio 1.2 Ghz Athalon, 128 MB RAM, 40 GB HD, DVD-ROM, CD-RW, and a 19-in monitor. After rebates (including $400 off for a 3-year CompuServe agreement), the computer cost almost the same as what I had intended to spend on a grill. The next day, I picked up a cable modem self-install kit, and signed my cable internet agreement, so now I have a high-speed internet connection. I will keep using the CompuServe account on my laptop, so now I just have to cancel my old CompuServe account, so I am not paying for two.

I started calling around last week, to try to find a summer tennis league. I have a few good leads, so hopefully I will still be able to get in to one. The Tennis Connection is still trying to get their league started, if they can find adequate court space. Although the Kalamazoo YMCA does not have men's leagues, I found out that the Portage YMCA does, so I need to call them today. When I called the Kalamazoo Y, I left a message with the tennis instructor there. His voice mail indicated that if he did not return the call within 24 hours, then the caller would receive a free half-hour lesson. When the guy called me back two days later, he left me a message telling me about the Portage Y, and also to call him back to arrange my free lesson.

As for my current project work, I got about two-thirds of it done in two days last week. I am developing the CSV documentation for another system located in the same building as the system I had previously been working with. Now, I am trying to track down all the information I need in order to complete the documentation.

Thursday evening, I picked up my new grill, and had Filet Mignon and Tilapia for its inaugural dinner. Friday, I ended up taking the whole day off, since Erica and I were driving to Columbus, OH, for the rehearsal dinner for the wedding that weekend. I slept in a little, then went to work out. (I have been spinning 30 minutes a day - about fifteen miles. If I have time, I will increase that to twice daily.) I picked Erica up, and we headed to Columbus. Again, the drive was nice, and we got there with plenty of time to spare. The rehearsal dinner was being held at the hotel where we all were staying, and I was pleasantly surprised when I was invited to attend. I got to meet the bride, Erica's friend, who is a real sweetheart. I also met a lot of family, the groom, and some more of Erica's friends, including one of the ushers, whom I had not yet met, but who, along with Henry (the other usher) and I, is a hard-core Republican.

After the dinner, Erica, Amanda and I drove to Target so that the girls could get swimming suits, since neither had brought theirs, and the pool had a pool that we wanted to use. When we got back, Erica decided that she just wanted to sleep, so she slept, I read for a while, and then I went to sleep, too. Neither of us slept well that night - we were woken up by the police banging on the door next to ours at four in the morning, then our alarm went off at five thirty. Since we needed to leave between ten and ten-thirty in order to get to the zoo on time, we finally got up at around eight-thirty. We got everything ready, got Amanda, and were in the car by ten-thirty. However, when I looked at the clock in my car, the time was only nine-thirty. Erica checked her watch to be sure - her watch, on Indiana time, said eight-thirty. Our alarm clock was set an hour ahead - which meant we could have slept for a much-needed extra hour. Since we had an hour to spare, we went to the hotel restaurant for breakfast (Erica ate - Amanda was not hungry, and I had already eaten breakfast while Erica was taking a shower).

We got to the zoo plenty early, had a light lunch - which again, I was pleasantly surprised to be invited to attend - and then while the girls were getting dressed, I walked around the zoo with the wife of the best man. We went to the aquatic center to see the fishes, sharks, and manatees. It was lightly sprinkling off-and-on, yet was still partly sunny. The rain kept the temperature really nice, and held off while the wedding party was taking pictures outside. The wedding and reception were both held in a banquet facility. Afterward, Erica and I went around the zoo, mainly the North America area, where we saw the bobcat, panther, bison, wolverine, and a lot of birds, including a bald eagle - which really is one of the most magnificent birds I have ever seen.

Since the reception was mainly a light affair, with cake and punch, Erica and I went to Max & Erma's for dinner, and then went back to the hotel, and went to bed at about nine or nine-thirty. We checked out at noon, ate lunch at the hotel restaurant, and then headed back. I dropped her off, and made it home by six or so.

I checked my mail, read my email, and then started the grill. I had to make a quick run to the store to get some food to grill. I decided to have pork, with zucchini and cottage cheese. I also made my special mustard barbecue sauce. I wanted to make it to have it ready for the church picnic coming up next Sunday afternoon. I am also going to make my Caesar salad. It should be a good time; this cookout was the first event I attended at the church last summer, and this year, I will actually know people there.

I think this entry has been long enough; I will do my best to keep up-to-date, so that I won't have to write a weekly novel.

Q E D

Almost Through With Hotel Living

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

Tomorrow, after three and a half months, I will finally check out of my hotel in Indianapolis. Starting next week, I will be working back in Kalamazoo. I may be starting a project in Allegan, near Kalamazoo; but at least I will be living in my own apartment. I've been staying in the hotel the past two days; for some reason, I haven't been feeling well. I have been really tired, and have had a sore throat. It's just about cleared up now, though.

This weekend should be pretty busy. Tomorrow night, I am going to Camden to watch Dave race, then Saturday is the wedding in Peru. Then, Sunday, I will finally drive home to Kalamazoo, where I will practically have to move in all over again.

Monday, I will be signing the add-on to my lease, for my new garage. I wanted the garage, not only to keep my care in good condition during the winter, but also to have someplace to keep a grill securely. I have been wanting one ever since I left college, and am going to get one next week.

Not much news today - although, I added a rant to the Soapbox section about people who are too lazy to put their shopping carts in the parking lot cart corrals.

Q E D

Site Updates

Filed in Web DevelopmentTags: Web Site

Added a journal entry.
Added a miscellaneous rant to the Soapbox section.

Eek! I’m a Month and a Half Late!

Filed in PersonalTags: Palliative Polemic

Well, it's been a while since I've written, so I will try to get caught up on what's been going on. At the end of this week, I will *finally* be done with my project at Lilly in Indianapolis. For the record, I have been living in a hotel for about three and a half months now. The sad part is, I will still have to come back down here for a day sometime in the future, in order to perform the testing I was supposed to do TWO MONTHS ago! In the meantime, I have been helping out on other projects related to the validation effort for the building that my original project is in. I still like being in Indy, but have just been in a hotel for too long. My boss and I actually discussed me moving down here at the end of June, but that idea was passed over for a bigger, better plan. I have to keep quiet about exactly *what* that plan is, but suffice it to say, I will be the major player. As we put this new plan (hereafter referred to as, The Plan) into motion, I will be staying in Kalamazoo. I'm still hoping that I get to move to Indy sometime in the future, but am happy staying in Kalamazoo for the present.

In other news, Erica and I have now been dating for over seven months. Things are progressing really well. She went with me to visit my parents in Maryland over Memorial Day weekend. We had a great time, spent time in DC, as well as on Solomon's Island, and (of course), my parents loved her. This past weekend, we celebrated my 24th birthday. We spent the day in Indianapolis - we went to the zoo (and saw the dolphin show while we were there), wandered around downtown Indy, including Circle Centre, and took a horse-drawn carriage ride around Monument Circle and through University Park, by the War Memorial. After that, we ate a fabulous dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House. All-in-All, one of my best birthdays ever. Other memorable birthdays include the one spent while on one of my mission projects, and the one spent at Universal Studios on the band trip to Florida right after graduation (where I was the drum major, and on the same trip, got to lead the *entire* Mickey Mania parade at Disney World). But, neither of those compare to a birthday spent with someone you care so much for, and who feels the same about you.

This weekend, Erica and I begin our Wedding Season, during which time we will be attending three weddings in a period of four weekends. This weekend, we will be in Peru, IN, for the wedding of one of my social fraternity brothers to a good friend of mine, also from my college years. The following weekend, we will be in Columbus, OH, for the wedding of one of Erica's friends, for whom Erica is the Maid of Honor. Then, two weekends after that, we will be back in Indianapolis, IN, for the wedding of my best friend - and varsity doubles tennis partner - from high school. Just before that wedding, Erica and I will be celebrating her 21st birthday and our 8-month anniversary (what is the correct term?) on the same day, and then Independence Day. So, this month is going to be really busy!

In other news, now that I feel comfortable as a resident and citizen of Kalamazoo, I have started feeling the urge once again to get involved in politics. Last week, I contacted the Kalamazoo County Republican Party, and will be getting involved as soon as I'm back in town. First, I will be helping to update and maintain the Kalamazoo GOP web site. Other than that, I will just be volunteering, and hope to get involved with the Public Relations committee.

Well, that should just about have me caught up on what's been going on. Hopefully, I can get back to writing daily again.

Q E D

Site Updates

Filed in Web DevelopmentTags: Web Site

Added a journal entry.
Added a political rant to the Soapbox section.
Added a recipe to the Atkins section.
Added Don Cole to the reciprocal links list.