Monthly Archives: April 2003

How to end a convention with a bang

Well, first you take a convention that’s been around for over a decade and ride it into the ground like Slim Pickens at the end of Doctor Strangelove.

Then, you welcome with open arms two television programs that are known for their lowbrow humor and whose only purpose in attending will be to make fun of your convention attendees.

Wow! What a great idea.

There might even be a financial explanation for this, but if so it seems like a hell of a way to sell your friends up the river. Confurence is dead, and I suppose after this it won’t be missed.

Too early for a Saturday

You know, wildmouse was exactly right when she opined last night that to have a LiveJournal account is to feel guilty for not writing in it…

So, to first recap the week: I finally got around to getting my bike tuned up and in rideable condition, so on Thursday it was off to explore Black Creek Greenway, a lovely green way I discovered during some earlier geocaching. It was a five-mile round trip (with some stops to hit caches, of course). Good gods, am I out of shape. Also, in hitting the last cache of the day I was walking back to my bike, all self-congratulatory, and didn’t see the big ol’ branch of thorns right across my path. Ouch. So now my legs look thoroughly frightful, but they’re just surface scratches. Anyway, biking and geocaching is an outstanding combination, but since takaza doesn’t really have a bike that’s rideable it’s something that’s a solo activity, which isn’t nearly as much fun. We’ll need to work on that.

Friday was a bit of cleaning and grocery shopping, and making more cinnamon scones, yum. wildmouse and me_not_you came over for dinner, and Dan got to work on setting up the DirecTivo unit that Brophey was so kind to lend us. As expected, we need to get a new card for it but they’re shipping it freebies. It should be here by Tuesday, and the only drawback is that we can’t get local channels on the unit until the card comes in, oh well.

For today? Hm, need to finally get around to cleaning out the garage so we can fit another car in there. Probably need to do some laundry, too. Oh, the excitement! We may wander over to Donald & Janelle’s later to be sociable, too. For now…time to make the coffee.

Scone goodness!

Mmm, after a hard workout at the gym, nothing counteracts all that virtuous burning of calories like a nice bit of baking. In celebration of the fact that Hershey’s is now making cinnamon chips (we bought two bags at the store this weekend), here’s today’s recipe for Cinnamon Chip Scones

Muahahaha!

We have succeeded in spreading the evil LiveJournal virus! Welcome to the fold, vileone and ladyinthetower!

Well, that evilness out of the way, what’s new? Not much. Dropped the car off for repairs yesterday (for an estimated $1,229 worth of work – glad I’m not the one paying for it!). I’m renting a 2002 Chevy Impala in its stead; it’s bigger than my Alero, and most definitely not the V6 I’m used to. It’s like driving a large boat through pudding. Lots of room in the passenger area, but I found one oddity – the rear seat doesn’t fold down. How useless is that?

Had an extended chat with a rep from my bank about investment possibilities and the pros and cons of rolling my 401(k) into an IRA – I’m probably going to do that, though my parents have sent me some pointers for other investment possibilities that I need to investigate as well.

Talked with a recruiter for a good long while about a job opportunity in Kansas City, MO. I’m not sure about this one – the job is an interesting one, but the location just doesn’t excite me at all. The third time he asked me if I was really sure I was interested in relocating to KC, I was starting to wonder myself. I need to send him more info by tomorrow, and I’m still up in the air if I should go for it or back out. Need to talk to Dan some more about this.

And finally, last night we went for our biweekly Mage/Werewolf game at Thomas and Sherry’s new place. Lots of fun, though combat in the White Wolf system has a bad habit of bringing everything to a screeching halt. Fun was had, regardless.

Today: Baked some nummy bread (first baking in the new house! Yay!). Did laundry. Dropped my bike off to have it resurrected from the dead (actually, it’s only going to need a tune-up). And tonight, we join the Gang for dinner at Lubrano’s for some tasty “red sauce” Italian food. It ain’t fancy, but it sure tastes good! To quote a certain someone: Arr num num num!

And then there was the weekend

Oh yeah…Livejournal. I’m supposed to keep this thing updated, aren’t I?

Actually, this week has been so full of mundane stuff that it’s almost not worth documenting. All the stuff you do after you move – unpack, sort stuff, put up curtains, that kind of thing. To give people an idea of where we are now: We’re sharing a 2,000+ square-foot house with a bachelor friend, John. He’s had several roommates in the last few years and they all seem to leave their stuff with him. This has the benefit that if we need space we can box up whatever’s in the way and make room – he doesn’t actually have much furniture here. We have two roughly 12 x 12 rooms upstairs – one for the bedroom and one for an office. The bedroom is pretty much consumed by our king-sized bed, unfortunately, though we’re able to squeeze in our dresser and headboard. In the office we have the loveseat, Dan’s desk, a filing cabinet, the phone stand (with cookbooks, of course), and our TV/Tivo/DVD setup.

The kitchen is an interesting problem. Lots of stuff in there belongs to an old roommate, though John has some staples in there. He doesn’t really cook much, so he hasn’t had much use for all the cooking equipment. We’re going to try to box up everything that we can this weekend and see if we can fit all of the crucial stuff from our kitchen in there. I tried cooking a few times last week and between not knowing where anything was and having to dig through boxes to find some equipment that was missing, I was going nuts. So that’s tomorrow’s project.

The other project is to move the last bit of stuff that’s occupying the left side of the garage to the basement, or at least move it out of the way enough be able to park our car in there. Oh, and return the ceiling fans we bought, since we can’t install them since there aren’t proper fan boxes in the bedroom and office.

But that’s for the weekend. Now…now we go out for dinner at Spartacus, yummy Greek food and flaming cheese! Opa!

Three hours and fifteen minutes

That’s all it took. Ten people and one twenty-four foot long truck moved the entire contents of a 2,050 square foot house out and into our new place in three hours and fifteen minutes, and that includes a fifteen-minute lunch break. Afterwards, Donald and Janelle kindly provided kitchen facilities and many burgers and much other good food was consumed, though we were a tired lot. We did, however, prove that ten people will fit on the Sofa of Doom!

Many, many, many thanks to Donald, Janelle, Rob, Beth, Thomas, Sherry, John, and Datahawk for providing moving assistance!

Oh, and as Takaza mentioned, my neighbor at our old house was kind enough to mark the occasion of our moving by hitting my car. It’s a minor dent on the rear door of the driver’s side – nothing incapacitating, but quite annoying. She was extremely apologetic, and quite nice about it. We exchanged contact and insurance information, and I’ll be calling my insurance agent tommorow.

On the agenda for tomorrow: Data and I will be cleaning the house in the morning, then the closing on the house is at 2 PM. After that – probably blessed relaxation.

The calm before the storm

Up at 6:30 this morning – I would have slept later, but I woke up and thought of everything we have to do today, and then there was no going back to sleep.

We (me, Takaza, and Datahawk) got a lot done yesterday: took over all of the hanging stuff from our closets, as well as the bulky kitchen stuff that wouldn’t box up easily, most of the A/V equipment, and all of our desktop PC’s (we own too many freakin’ monitors!). We also picked up the moving truck yesterday – a 24-foot long behemoth. With the cab, it’s probably about 30 feet long. Hey, did you know that our driveway is just about 30 feet long? Neither did we! It’s parked in there quite snugly right now, and we’ll probably have to pull it into the street a little bit when we extend the ramp and start moving stuff in.

Anyway, after we got the truck and moved a few items over to the new place, we headed over to Sam’s Club and picked up a huge number of hamburgers, buns, and cheese for tonight. We dropped those by me_not_you and wildmouse‘s place and got to meet their Sofa of Doom! We helped them move their old sectional sofa upstairs, and then we all adjourned to Lubrano’s for yummy Italian food and good company. Good times. Afterwards, we headed home (with a short stop by Lowes to pick up doughnuts and stuff to drink for today). I headed to bed moderately early, but Takaza and Datahawk stayed up…late. Maybe 1 AM? Silly people, we’ve got work to do today!

So, looking around here, there’s nothing left now except lots and lots of boxes stuffed into the dining room, the furniture (still arranged as normal, which lends a surreality to the place), and a scattering of the usual unsorted leftovers that can be boxed up in a few quick minutes. I need to drive up to Manhattan Bagels and pick up a dozen or so bagels to feed the masses helping us move. They should start arriving by 11 AM (though if I know some of them we might even see them by 10:30). Meanwhile, I’ve got a couple more Starbucks Doubleshots to get me kickstarted while I quickly peruse the morning paper. Whee!

On the move

Just because I want to commit this into words someplace…

1968 – Born, St. Louis, MO
1969 – Moved to Park Forest, IL
1971 – Pinewood Trail, Trumbull, CT
1977 – Shelton, CT
1978 – Holly Hill Lane, Southbury, CT
1980 – Forest Lake, Andover, NJ
1980 – Cranberry Lake, Andover, NJ
1981 – Briar Patch Road, Andover, NJ
1983 – Cobbs Glen, Anderson, SC
1984 – Hartwell Villas Apartments, Anderson, SC
1985 – Briar Creek Trail, Anderson, SC
1986 – Sharp Hall, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
1987 – Patterson House, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
1988 – Bristol Square Court, Springfield, VA
1989 – Church Street Apartments, Central, SC
1991 – Hearthstone Drive, Blacksburg, VA
1992 – Merrimac Road, Blacksburg, VA
1993 – Washington St. SW, Blacksburg, VA
1994 – Washington St. SE, Blacksburg, VA
1995 – Chatham Ave., Elmhurst, IL
1995 – Beaverbrook Rd., Raleigh, NC
1996 – Doc Arnold Dr., Raleigh, NC
1997 – Alpine Rd., Durham, NC
1998 – Colorado Ave., Joliet, IL
2000 – Park Summit Blvd., Apex, NC
2000 – Arbor Crest Rd., Holly Springs, NC
2003 – Twelve Oaks Ln., Apex, NC
2003 – …who knows?

Yeah, I’m kind of used to moving, I suppose….

Packing and Interviewing

Well, packing is going slowly, but then quite frankly there isn’t that much left to pack. We boxed up the garage yesterday, and took stuff to Goodwill. We still need to go through the master bedroom closet and pull out clothes that can also go to Goodwill. I have two sets of crutches and a couple of canes left over from my ankle surgeries that need to be donated…somewhere. Not sure just where yet, but I’d like to take them someplace where they’ll do some good. Did lunch at Suchi yesterday with Datahawk – very tasty Indian food, and I’m always a sucker for mango lassi. For dinner we went out to Playmakers and played some trivia and had (so-so) chicken sandwiches and pizza for dinner. Tonight it’s “let’s save money and eat in” night, with pork roast or pork chops, depending on whether I feel like cutting up the roast or not.

The phone interview yesterday went reasonably well, though it’s strange interviewing for a chemical engineering position with a company that has never employed a chemical engineer before. There is a distinction between someone who knows how to make a product, how to package the product, and how to apply the product – I have experience with the first two but not the last, which is what they want. I would feel comfortable doing it, and they are aware of my lack of experience – let’s see just how big of a risk they’re willing to take.

On the agenda for today: wake up Datahawk eventually (she was coughing terribly last night and probably didn’t sleep well, so I’m just going to let her sleep as late as she likes), have lunch with Thomas, then pack up the living room closet and bathroom cabinets when we get back. Tomorrow is the biggie: packing up the kitchen. Then on Saturday we’ll pack up the last bits and stage it all in the dining room and move it all out on Sunday, whee. I’m very rapidly approaching the stage where I just want it done.

Hmm – I should probably change some more addresses online. Off to take care of that…

Too little sleep and too much to do

So now we’re into crunch time on the move.

I picked up Datahawk at the airport last night at around 11. Predictably, we stayed up too late chatting (and Takaza, silly wolf that he is, came down to join us), so when the alarm went off at 6 AM, we were both hurting. I wish I was the kind of person who, when woken, can easily roll over and go back to sleep. I’m not. Oh well. Gonna be an early night tonight…

So the plan today is to move some of our accumulated artwork (30 or 40 pictures, I think) over to the new place. We also need to move the dozen-or-so boxes in the garage down to the basement to make room for two cars to park there. Once we’re done with that, we’ll see what else needs doing – maybe take some of the smaller items over as well, we’ll see.

Some bright news on the job front – I have a phone interview on Wednesday afternoon with a company outside of Rochester, MN. It’s an odd fit, and neither the recruiter nor I thought they’d be interested in my resume but we were both wrong. A phone interview certainly doesn’t cost me anything so we’ll see what happens.

Moving musings

As stated before, Casa di Canine has been sold. We passed all the inspections with flying colors (need to do some minor touch-up stuff myself, nothing that we have to bring in help for) and the closing is on Monday, April 14. We have a 24′ truck reserved for Saturday, April 12 – Monday, April 14 and will be moving everything on Sunday the 13th – hopefully in just one trip. We’re even bringing in help for packing and moving – Datahawk will be joining us for a little over a week starting next Monday. For out-of-town folks who offered to help: it looks like we’ll have at least six friends showing up locally to help, so I think we’ll have it covered. Thanks for the offers, though!

The new place is less than ten miles away, in the teeming metropolis of Apex, NC. One nice thing is that although our postal address will change (let me know if you need that), nothing else will – our phone number will remain the same. Of course all the usual e-mail addresses won’t change.

The house in currently in a modest state of disarray – I broke down the dining room table and we’re staging boxes and easily-movable furniture in the dining room, right next to the front door. The front guest bedroom is completely empty, and the back guest bedroom is about a third full of boxes or stuff to be boxed up. We’ve taken all the art off the walls and the place seems pretty barren, even more oppressively beige than before.

I’ve moved a lot in my lifetime (and I mean a lot – this will be my twenty-third move, the twelfth since I left for college). I don’t tend to get sentimental over real estate, but at the same time I find this is a tough house to leave, even more so than the house in Joliet. This is a house that Takaza found for us, and deciding on it was a joint effort. As much as I hate the neighborhood (we’re don’t socialize with the neighbors and we don’t have kids – two strikes around here) and the shoddy construction of the house (the plumbers should have been shot), we created a lot of really good memories here. We hosted the Gang here for multiple New Year’s parties, where we ate ourselves silly and enjoyed great company. We’ve hosted our close friends Thomas and Sherry and Donald and Janelle here many times, and watched Janelle fall asleep in front of the fireplace many times 🙂 Then there’s the furry parties – we perfected the hang-out-with-the-canines-and-let-the-inertia-set-in model here. We found out just how many laptops you can add to the Wi-Fi network before you start to slow things down. We spent many mornings, coffee in hand, watching bleary-eyed guests trickle down from their rooms upstairs, and fed them well with French toast and pancakes. We grilled, and stir-fried on the patio. We had many, many discussions here with friends – frivolous, deep, technical, and everything in between. There’s a lot of really good energy in this house, for want of a better term. And we’re leaving it behind – I’ll miss it, a lot.

We’ll get a new place. I can say for sure it won’t be a new and shiny (and beige) as this place was – we learned that even though you buy other people’s problems when you buy an older house, if you buy a new house all you get are new and exciting problems no one’s dealt with yet. The new place will be nice and big, like this house is, and will have lots of room for guests. I can say this with confidence. The only thing I don’t know is…where or when. And that’s unnerving. I’ll have faith, though. Casa di Canine will rise again, and you’d better believe we’ll have a party to celebrate!