Joe's New Blog

Nothing special, this is just my third effort at writing a blog about my life and what goes on in it: Hobbies, cooking, work, maybe the occasional book or DVD review, and so forth. Nothing really noteworthy, but this is sort of a little subset of my world...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 55 of 365

(I had internet connection problems yesterday, so had to save this one as a draft…)

It was another night without nearly as much sleep as I would have liked. But the little guy hasn’t been pooping on the carpet lately, so I guess he’s starting to get the hang of the potty training. He also seems to have the sit command down fairly well, which is pretty good for only a week, and only half of that spent in training. One thing that’s sort of odd, which we need to solve, is the fact that every time he comes back inside from doing his business, he starts getting very bitey. He’ll bite fingers, the back of our pants, our feet, or pretty much anything to do with us. I’ve been trying to distract him with his toys, but he seems to ignore them and just keeps going after us. I’m not sure exactly why this is, but we know it can’t continue permanently.

One of the times Ernie came back in from his potty break, Kala was sitting on one of the bottom steps. She panicked and ran back up the stairs as fast as possible, knocking over her water and dry food in the process and breaking the plate that her canned food goes on. She wasn’t seen for several hours afterward, which isn’t a good thing. She did come down a little later, but not for very long. I do wish she wouldn’t take the whole thing quite so hard. I spent some time sitting up on the stairs with her in the evening, but I know that she misses having the run of the house like it used to be. I guess you just can’t please everyone…

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 54 of 365

Today was kind of a crappy day at work. It’s the end of the month, so of course everyone was in a hurry to try to get everything done. And we’re going to be switching computer systems in about a month, so management is even more anxious about getting everything closed as quickly as possible. And because I’ve had very little training in doing the things I’m supposedly helping out with, I felt like I was almost as much a hindrance as a help. It was rather frustrating, and I was relieved to get back to the file room, where at least I know where everything goes.

Training of the puppy is continuing. I think he’s doing quite well, although it’s only been a week now. He’ll come out doing fine, I’m quite sure, although it’s going to be a long process. And now, since it’s midnight, I’m going to go to bed…

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 53 of 365

Ernie’s training is continuing. He seemed to be quite a bit less rough today, which is quite a good thing. Also, one of the times he started to squat to poo on the rug, I picked him up and put him on the training pad near the door. He didn’t go there, but as soon as I opened the door, he went right outside to the little dirt area by the side of the walkway and did his business there. So it does seem that he’s getting the idea of us wanting him to go potty outside, which is very, very good. The girlfriend was much happier today, and there appears to be some more light at the end of the tunnel.

It was raining pretty heavily most of the afternoon today, and after I’d picked up one person and parked the van, I pushed open the van door and started to get out while pulling my hood up over my head. The door swung back closed and the point of it got me right in the forehead above my right eye. It wasn’t a major hit, but it still hurts a fair amount and took off a bit of skin, and I’m guessing that I’m going to have at least a good-sized welt, if not a big ol’ bruise, there tomorrow. Lovely.

And now, to sleep, perchance to dream…

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 52 of 365

Another day of potty training for Ernie, and another day with nowhere near enough sleep for the girlfriend and I. I pretty much sleepwalked through the day at work today; it’s the second day in a row that I’ve had an entire pot of coffee, which I haven’t done since I was back in college, I don’t think. My hip hurts pretty much all the time from the constant sitting on the floor and getting up, and I think I might be developing some of the early signs of arthritis in that particular joint. I’m hoping not, because I really don’t want to have to go through any kind of surgery or anything, and I don’t just want to live with having pain in my legs for the rest of my life. For now, I guess I’ll go see if I can get a little sleep before we get up to give Ernie a bathroom break in a couple of hours…

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 51 of 365

I think the puppy might be winning the major battles. It’s very early to have him potty trained, of course, but we’re still trying to work on it. But both the girlfriend and I are dead tired, I’ve had to rearrange my schedule at work to try to be home every couple of hours to get him out of his pen to go pee, and the cat has spent most of the past four days holed up in the upstairs windowsill. It’s not exactly the best of times, but we’re hoping that it’ll all be worth it in the end. Hoping, hoping, hoping…

Monday, January 25, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 50 of 365

Another long day. The girlfriend had to open today, and her leaving woke up the puppy. So I was up at about 6:30 in the morning, letting the little guy roam around and chew on me. He’s not really supposed to chew on me, but I was too tired to really care all that much. I did try to get him to chew on his rubber duck more than on me, but it was with mixed success.

Due to the fact that I was so damned tired, I wound up getting to work late. The computer system was running incredibly slowly, so I didn’t really have much opportunity to do any training to cover the warranty position. I talked to Erica, the office manager, and she’s going to take care of most of the stuff that really needs to happen in the system, while I’m going to print out the information they need from GM’s vehicle information system. Hopefully I’ll be able to help out quite a bit but not screw too much up.

I managed to find an order for which they’d been looking for the past couple of weeks. It turns out that it was stapled to the wrong order. Erica had really narrowed it down to one of a few possible orders, so I just did the legwork. It was at least nice to know that I saved the company and one of the sales advisors several thousand dollars. Even if I didn’t get much more than a quick thank you from the advisor.

Most of the rest of the day was the same old stuff. I had a couple of pictures of Ernie on my camera, and everyone thought he was just adorable, which he is of course. When he’s not trying to gnaw on my fingers. The girlfriend took him to the vet for the first time this afternoon, and he said that to crate train him, we should have him in a much smaller crate and just get up every couple of hours and take him over to where he’s supposed to pee. We’re going to try that for the first time tonight and see if it works out any better.

And then tomorrow, we’re going to try a different work schedule so we can come home every couple of hours and let him out to go to the bathroom and play a little. I’m hoping that it won’t just wear both of us too ragged, not to mention being totally hard on the little guy. I guess we’ll see, but for now it’s off to bed…

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 49 of 365

Today was day 2 of having Ernie here with us. He still doesn’t know where he’s supposed to go to the bathroom and he’s still not really sure what he’s allowed to chew on and what he’s not. But we’re trying to be very patient, and hopefully we’ll have a nice, well-adjusted puppy in a few months.

He got us up at around four in the morning, which wasn’t all that much fun. The girlfriend took care of most of the stuff that needed taking care of, but it still didn’t help my level of restfulness for the night. Then we got up a little earlier than usual, so even though it’s earlier than I’d usually go to bed, I’m pretty beat. So I think it’s just about time to wrap up the day…

It's really the girlfriend's, but...

Since we live together, I’m pretty much just as responsible for the little guy as she is. She found a website for a couple of families who have some corgis which they breed on occasion. We definitely didn’t want to do the pet store or puppy mill kind of thing, and we’d been looking off and on at rescue sites, the local humane society and so on. She really likes the long-bodied short-legged type dogs, like corgis, dachshunds, and those type, and corgis especially had pretty much captured her heart. We looked at possibly adopting a couple of times before, but each of the available dogs had some kind of issue that we couldn’t work around well. Some didn’t play well with other animals, and I already have a cat. Some needed pretty much full-time attention, and we both work full time. So we finally decided to go with a puppy instead of adopting an adult. Once she found the site, we got in contact a few weeks ago and found out that they had one male still available from their recent litter of four. We sent them a deposit and waited for him to be weaned. The owner e-mailed last week and told us that he would be ready a week earlier than she’d expected. So yesterday we drove up to Oklahoma and made the remaining payment and picked up little Ernie and brought him back home.

The cat wasn’t at all happy when we brought him home. She really hasn’t been downstairs since we let him out of the carrier. I’d hoped that she’d maybe just keep a little distance and watch, but she immediately took off and hid, and she hasn’t really tried to make any contact since. I guess that’s better than the other result which I’d sort of expected, which was that she would try to stalk it and possibly hurt him. I’m sure she’ll gradually become a bit more sociable once she realizes that the little guy is staying and that he’s not going to try to chase her or anything.

So far the puppy’s mostly been sleeping and tottering around the place on his stubby little legs. We’re trying to get him to go potty in the right places and to not chew on things like furniture, and he’s gradually getting it, but it looks like it’s going to be a long, long road, and it looks like sleeping all the way through the night is not going to be happening all that much for the next few months…

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 48 of 365

Today we went and picked up Ernie the corgi from his family in Oklahoma. We got out of the house a little later than expected, which is pretty much the norm for the two of us. The girlfriend was telling me how she always used to be on time for everything, but now it seems like she’s late far more often than she’s on time. I guess I do tend to mess with her system of doing things quite a bit, and I’ve never really been one to care if I’m on time all that much. I guess I should start trying to get more punctual.

In any case, we made it up to the people’s place in Yukon, Oklahoma, about half an hour later than we’d been planning. Ernie’s mom and auntie, as well as a little dachshund named Mia, greeted us at the door. The meeting went well and we paid the rest of the money and headed for home with Ernie safely ensconced in the little pet taxi. He rode very well, not whining too terribly much and mostly just sleeping or gazing aimlessly out the front of the crate. I thought about taking him out and letting him ride in my lap, but the girlfriend mentioned earlier that she didn’t feel that comfortable with an unsecured pet riding in the car, so I didn’t suggest it.

Ernie’s had a few issues with potty training, but we’re cutting him a bit of slack on his first day. Tomorrow, we’re definitely going to try to be a bit more firm with getting him to do his business outside. For now, though, he’s passed out on the living room floor, and we’re getting ready to head off to sleep ourselves. It’s been quite a long day…

Friday, January 22, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 47 of 365

So, today was pretty much a day like most others. The girlfriend had to work early, so I got up a little earlier than usual myself and vacuumed the bedroom. She’s been having some severe allergy attacks, and it’s mostly because I haven’t been vacuuming enough, so the cat hair and dander and such are building up around the place. I really need to make sure I do one or two rooms (or at least big sections of rooms) every day.

While I was doing my filing this morning, I had a visit from the son of the owner of the car dealership. It was rather unexpected. He said that he’d heard what a good job I was doing and really appreciated the effort I was putting in. The lady from the parts department who works next to the file room came in a while later and seemed to think it was a really big thing that he had come in and commented. So maybe I’m somehow moving up in the world there. But I somehow doubt it…

They had a memo up in the cashier’s office indicating that the drivers (which is what I am in the evening) should only mark down their times on the log and then get the hell out of the office. That wasn’t their exact phrasing, but it was close enough. The exact phrasing was something more like “then return to the service drive to assist with customers.” Which I thought was kind of funny tonight, because I paced the service drive a couple of dozen times, and there wasn’t a single customer to be found who I could assist. So I sat in the front cubicle and twiddled my thumbs. I guess I’ll make sure I bring a notebook on Monday, so at least I can write a little while I’m being so helpful to the nonexistent clientele…

The girlfriend called me at work and asked if I wanted to go over to her friends’ new house for a little get-together. We did that after I got home. We pretty much just played Wii and saw their new place and such. It was fun, even though I got my ass kicked at the video games for the most part. I also had the first drinks that I’ve had since New Year’s Eve, so I guess I’d better tack at least another day onto the promised “quit-drinking period” from not having finished Mom’s cross-stitch project by Christmas. So, I’m going to go ahead and add on a month for that transgression, and I’ll not drink until the end of January 2011. Or I’ll go ahead and add another month on for each drink from here on out. I’ve not been doing badly up till now.

And now, since we have to go up to Oklahoma tomorrow and pick up the new member of the family, I’m going to go to bed…

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 46 of 365

Today was a long, tiring sort of day. I got up a little earlier than usual to finish making the cinnamon rolls. The girlfriend had to open at work today, so she took the dough out of the fridge and left it to rise in the oven, so at least I didn’t have to get up at the complete crack of dawn. Unfortunately, because the dough had been in the fridge overnight, it didn’t rise as quickly as it should have, so I wound up being about an hour late getting to work. No one seemed to mind all that much, though. The cinnamon rolls were still warm from the oven when I got there.

On the way to work, some twit talking on her cell phone nearly ran me off the freeway. She was signaling to turn off at an exit, and had pretty much left the actual freeway, when she apparently realized that she was taking the wrong exit and abruptly merged back onto the freeway. About three feet in front of me. Fortunately, when the cinnamon rolls hit the floor, they pretty much landed on the foil I had wrapped them in, so no real damage was done. I was still pretty pissed, though.

Once I got to work, I spent the morning training to close out warranty orders back in the dispatch office. There’s a shitload of information to try to digest, and I think they probably want me to get it down fairly quickly. Hopefully I’ll be able to get it before too terribly long, but I’m not sure how much time they’re expecting me to spend doing that and how much doing filing. I can’t let that get too far behind, after all.

I took a very short lunch. The girlfriend had been trying to call me a couple of times, but she didn’t want to talk while I was busy, so I went over at the start of my lunch to talk to her. It turns out that the lady who’s selling us the puppy said that we could come and pick him up this weekend, instead of waiting till the following week. So she’s very happy about that. After talking to her, I drove over to Sonic and had a burger for lunch.

Then it was back to do the driving. It was kind of a sad day for most of the folks, because it was Brittany’s last day. She does a pretty good job and everyone there likes her, so she’s definitely going to be missed.

I was watching hockey and napping a little for most of the evening since I’ve been home, and I think that’s a hint that I should probably go to bed soon…

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 45 of 365

So how has today been? Not great, because I got almost no sleep last night. Not sure exactly why, because I went to bed relatively early, at least by my standards. I think I was actually in bed by around midnight, but I know I was still awake at least at 5:30. Then the girlfriend’s alarm went off at about 8:30, so I think it was probably something like two to two and a half hours of sleep for me. And that’s definitely less than what I’m accustomed to.

I forgot to take my water to work today, which of course isn’t all that great. On the plus side, I did already manage to meet my 10,000 step goal for the day. I also got about halfway through the process of making cinnamon rolls. Tomorrow is the last day at work for Brittany, one of the girls who I usually work with in the evening. She’s going to work for a law firm down in Dallas, and I told her that I’d make her some cinnamon rolls. Actually, I’ve been promising them for a while, but I figured I’d best get off my ass and get it done, or it will be too late.

During the driving part of work today, I think I had my longest overall set of drives since I started. When I first got to work, they sent me out to Justin and Sanger to pick people up, and then when I got back, I had a take-home to Carrollton. Not sure exactly how many miles I put on the van today, but I’m sure it was probably up around a hundred or so. And traffic, especially coming back from that last run, was a royal pain in the ass. I got back to the office at 6:45. And then it was back home.

The girlfriend got home a little after I did, and we headed pretty much straight out the door to do a little shopping. We went to Target first, and I picked up a few pairs of trousers for work. They gave me several pairs of black trousers from the uniform service they use, but it seems like every pair has some kind of stain or burn mark or something on it. So, since I found out a couple of days ago that they really don’t care where I get my pants as long as they’re black, I figured I’d get some new ones. Even if I get a different job somewhere else, I can always use black pants.

The girlfriend picked up some pet stuff for Ernie, the new puppy. We also checked out some baskets for storing all the crap currently on the coffee table, but she didn’t like the ones they had there, or else they were too expensive.

Following Target, it was off to Petsmart. We got some doggy toys and she got a little jacket for him. I took a look at the aquaria, which they have on sale for the next couple of weeks, but they’re still going to be fairly expensive. So I’ve decided to pass on one at least until we can get a house.

We stopped and got dinner at Sweet Basil. I had my usual beef fried rice and she got her usual chicken yellow curry. I was quite hungry by the time we got home, and I wound up eating the entire dish of rice, which rather surprised the girlfriend. She was expecting to have some leftover for lunch, but such is life.

And now, I think I’m going to head off to bed and see if I can’t get a little more sleep than last night…

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 44 of 365

Today was a bit better than yesterday, but I guess it’s kind of a marginal improvement at best. I did manage to crush my previous top number of steps, as I’m currently approaching 11K and will have that beat by the time I go to bed in a few minutes. Aside from that, I was called into the manager’s office at work today. He said that someone had told him that I was fairly proficient with computers. (Obviously he hasn’t read my resume, which pretty much indicates that almost my entire professional career has been computer-oriented.) I told him that, yes, I knew a bit about them, and he said that they’d like to start cross-training me to do some of the dispatching and scheduling on a back-up sort of basis. One of the guys who does it normally is going to have shoulder surgery next week, so that sort of brought it to their attention. Of course, I’m not really sure if I’d be taking over that soon, but it would certainly be nice to have some more skills, and maybe it would also mean a little hike in pay. Not sure of that, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Aside from that, not much new today…

Monday, January 18, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 43 of 365

It’s been another typical day. I got up and took a shower, made some coffee, went to work. I took my glasses down to JC Penney to get the lens fixed, or reattached at least, during lunch, then stopped at Sonic to get a bite to eat. I slopped hamburger condiments down the front of my shirt and had to come back home to change, which made me a bit late getting back to work for the evening shift. That didn’t really matter too much, because I didn’t have a whole hell of a lot of driving to do.

On the plus side, I’m very near the 10K steps goal for the day, and I did drink my liter of water. Aside from that, it’s been a pretty useless one…

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 42 of 365

Today was something of a slow and disappointing day for me. While I did get up pretty early, I really didn’t do much with the extra time. I did empty the dishwasher, and the girlfriend and I went on a very short bike ride today after I inflated the tires on both of our bikes. We pretty much just went around the block because her knee started hurting. I also took out the garbage, because it was starting to smell pretty rank. Aside from that, it’s been playing a bit of Wii watching hockey and football. I don’t think I’m above 2500 steps yet today, but I do hope that I can at least make it up a little closer to my average for the year, which is currently about 6400. We’ll see how that goes. So much for the day, as well as the weekend…

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 41 of 365

It hasn’t been a very energetic sort of day today. I got up when the alarm went off, at 7:10, but I had already been awake for nearly two hours by then. That was sort of unfortunate, because I had to be at work by 8:00. I got there on time and we had the usual little Saturday morning rush before I had my first drive of the day. I think I ended up having about three or four drives overall, and the rest of work was pretty uneventful. I didn’t actually do as many steps today as I really expected. I figured I’d do more than when I’m in the file room, but so far I’ve only done about 5500 total for the day. So I’m pretty sure I’m not going to make my 10K for the day.

After work, I played a little Wii and then watched the tail end of the Dallas Stars hockey game on the tube. I was so tired that I wound up dozing in and out a bit during the overtime. Unfortunately, it wasn’t really enough sleep to get me any kind of rest, so the rest of the evening I’ve been pretty tired.

The rest of the evening, as it happens, was mostly going over to the girlfriend’s brother and sister-in-law’s house for the 2nd birthday of their youngest son. That was fun, and Evan, the little guy, seemed to have a really good time. Of course, getting a bunch of presents is always a lot of fun for a little kid. I met a few of the in-laws’ friends, whose names I don’t remember and who I’ll probably never see again. But it was an entertaining evening.

Got home and watched the end of the other football game. Now it’s getting late and I think I’m going to go to bed before I pass out…

Friday, January 15, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 40 of 365

I’m once again pretty close to my 10,000 steps today, which is good. At lunch today, I picked up a new voice recorder. My old one still worked all right, but I wanted one that hooked up and transferred the data directly to my computer. This one does that, but I haven’t yet installed the software. I also paid the storage unit fee at lunch today. While I was there, I took a few things out of the unit and stuck them in the trunk. I think I have all of the old Visual Basic books out of there now, so I’ll probably list those on Craigslist tomorrow and see if anyone wants to give me a few bucks for them.

This morning, we sent off the deposit for the corgi puppy. It should be ready to come home with us in a couple of weeks. We’re going to get a little sable male, and the girlfriend already has big plans for the outfits and matching collars and such. Ought to be interesting.

After work today, we went to pick up a package from UPS. It was a CD she bought for her nephew’s birthday. After the UPS station, we headed over to Target and picked him up a toy for a present. We also checked out the pet stuff, just to see what the prices are. I haven’t ever really checked the prices for dog food and such. Looks like it shouldn’t be too terribly much money, which is good.

I talked to Rick, the landlord, this morning as I was headed out toward work. Apparently he plays steel guitar, and he’s got a friend who he has tried to teach a few songs on bass. He asked me if I gave lessons, and I told him that I haven’t done much, but I’d be willing to help him out if I can. So perhaps I’ll be giving a few lessons sometime in the future. Make a little bit of spending money.

Well, it’s getting late and I have to work tomorrow, so I guess I’ll head off to bed now…

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 39 of 365

Well, what have been my successes for the day? I did drink my full liter of water, I’m very close to making my 10,000 steps, and I did 12 pushups in a row before I took my shower this evening. I know, 12 isn’t exactly a huge number, but I really haven’t been doing many at all for the past couple of years, so I’m working my way back up slowly, instead of killing myself by trying to do 100 a day or something before I’m ready. Aside from those, I really haven’t done much toward any of my goals or my New Year’s resolutions. Typical…

The girlfriend wants to get a puppy. She found a website for a family who is selling some corgi puppies. She talked to the landlord and got his okay to get another pet. And then she e-mailed the people and asked if one particular one on their website was still available. It turns out that the particular one is not available, but there are still a couple of others. So it looks like we might wind up driving up to Oklahoma this weekend to get a new little addition to the family. Guess we’ll see how that works out.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 38 of 365

I’ve decided that rather than harping on all the negative things going on in my life, I should try to note the things I’ve succeeded at, or the things that were fun or made me feel good about the day. Today I finally measured the closet, so I can cut the wood and put up shelves. I also got the utility bills paid and sorted through the stack of papers on the counter and made sure we didn’t have any more past due utility bills sitting around. I’ve almost managed to meet my 10,000 steps mark, and I’m just about through my liter of water for the day. And I managed to set a personal best on Wii Sports Resort Golf, shooting 18 holes at 2-under-par. Not exactly a stellar day, but at least I managed to accomplish some little tasks…

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 37 of 365

Today was a pretty decent day as far as the weather. It’s nice being able to walk around without freezing my ass off or having to wear five layers of clothing. Aside from the decent weather, the day was pretty much the same old crap. We watched Inglorious Basterds today. It was okay, but it seemed that when we were watching all the ads, it was pretty much billed as something much more like a comedy. And it definitely wasn’t a comedy. It had it’s few dark comedic moments, but it certainly wasn’t a bunch of belly laughs. For now, though, it’s off to bed…

Monday, January 11, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 36 of 365

I was tired today. I was tired not just in the physical sense, but mentally and emotionally. I just feel like I’m at a dead end in the job, which of course I am. I doubt that I’m ever going to get any kind of promotion or anything, and I’m honestly not all that sure that I really want one there. Working for a car dealership is not exactly my dream profession, although I suppose if they offered me a position in the IT department, I might take it.

While I was working this morning, I was far less than efficient at doing the work, but I did manage to get my step count up. In fact, I was up to nearly 6500 by the time I went to lunch today. And, sure enough, after having played a little Wii and done a fair amount of pulling cars up to the drive, I’m now at 10,172 steps. A first, and at least a minor little success in my life. I guess you’ve got to take your little victories where you can…

Daily Journal: Day 35 of 365

Much too late. I’ve been playing Wii for hours, trying to find all the hidden little information tags on the Wii Sports Resort Island Flyover game. It’s now nearly 2:30 local time, and I need to get up and go to work tomorrow. Can’t do this again…

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 34 of 365

My idea of writing in the morning every day ran into the reality of working on a Saturday today. I had to be to work at eight this morning, which was about two hours before usual. I didn’t really want to get up at all, since it was about 10 degrees outside. It was nice and snuggly under the covers, and it would have been really nice to just roll over and go back to sleep. Of course, I did volunteer to work today, so I can’t really say too terribly much about it. And I can always use the extra money from the overtime…

Last night, I was in a pretty piss-poor mood when I came home. When I got to work in the afternoon, one of the porters was out using the van I usually use. The other driver had the other car and was out on a run to Flower Mound, so I couldn’t use that. I waited for about half an hour before I called the phone in the van. Supposedly, the porter had been out getting diesel for a vehicle back in the shop, but when he realized that I was waiting to pick someone up, he was up at the drive in a couple of minutes. Who the hell knows what he was doing? Probably just standing around wasting time in the shop. Overall, it put me about 45 minutes behind where I should have been, and by the end of the evening, I had to reschedule one of the pickups for this morning. I really wish they wouldn’t take my van minutes before I’m supposed to get to work, and I especially wish they’d friggin’ tell the porters to get the hell back to the shop as soon as possible when they do. And I’m not even going to get started on the lovely smell of diesel in the van all evening…

Regardless of the reason, I wasn’t exactly cheerful when I got home. I had planned on doing some work on the new website, but instead I wound up watching a little TV and then playing Wii for longer than I really should have. We finally got in a second one of the Wii Motion Plus things a couple of days ago, so it was fun being able to both play at the same time. I still shouldn’t have stayed up until 1:30, knowing I had to be up early.

Today at work was pretty uneventful. By the time I got there, there were already cars lined up in the service bay and out into the driveway. So I guess next weekend, I should really try to get to work a bit before eight. I helped park some of those cars before heading out to pick up the person I missed yesterday. After that, it was mostly just driving for me. I parked a few cars and pulled a few up, but in general it wasn’t really much different a day than my usual evenings.

I got home and did a little bit of stuff around the house. Emptied the dishwasher, vacuumed, sorted out a few things from my closet upstairs. I also played an 18-hole game of golf on the Wii. I think I finally have the motion plus thing figured out, because I shot a -1 for the round. After that, I started watching the NFL playoffs, and that’s most of what I’ve been doing since. In the words of the Moody Blues, another day’s useless energy spent…

Friday, January 8, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 33 of 365

It’s just about 9:30 in the morning. I’ve decided to start writing in here in the morning instead of in the evening. First, because it’s a reason to get my lazy ass out of bed instead of lounging around under the covers until I’m nearly late for work. And second, because it lets me write stuff with my mind still pretty much a blank slate for the day. I can just remember the major things that might have happened from the previous day, or thoughts buzzing around my head, instead of just dwelling on the little trivia from the last half of the day at work and such.

Last night, I purchased the domain name and the bannerless hosting for my prospective cross stitch design site. I also did a bunch of work on Mom’s cross stitch project, but that’s coming along quite a bit more slowly than I would like. Tonight, I need to put together a basic home page for the site, get it registered with Google so people can find it, set up a blog to point to it, and figure out exactly how I’m going to design the site itself. For now, I don’t think I’m going to try to create any kind of ornate ordering system or anything; just the basic site to show what I have, and maybe a PayPal link to take donations for the moment. We’ll see.

Because I did sleep in a little later than I expected, I guess I should really get my butt in gear and get ready for work. Got to be there in about 20 minutes, and it’ll take ten of those just for the drive. Sigh…

Daily Journal: Day 32 of 365

Yes, I did actually write an entry on day 31, but I actually wrote it in my paper journal and just didn’t manage to get it transferred into here. And I’m not sure I can do it retroactively, so I guess it’ll just have to go missing from here, although I’ll put it on my regular blog.

Today was extremely cold, at least by Texas standards. I’m well aware that there are areas of the country that didn’t make it into the positive mark on the Fahrenheit scale today, but not making it above freezing is cold enough for me. And with the wind chill taken into account, it was in the mid to low 20s most of the day today. I thought about not going into work, but I really do need the money.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve come to a decision. I’m going to try to get my cross stitch design business off the ground. I don’t know if I’ll be able to actually make a living at it, but I at least hope to have it paying for itself and possibly a little more by the end of the year. I’ve been settling for “good enough” for far too long now, and it’s time to actually try to get something useful done for myself…

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 30 of 365

There’s a new girl at work, she’s been there a couple of weeks maybe. She’s something like 22 or 23 years old and seems like she’s very, very driven. In one way, she’s rather annoying. I’m already a bit tired of hearing about how she interned at Disney, and how she could have managed her own store at Dick’s Sporting Goods at 20, and all the other things that she’s so good at. I’m sure there are a fair number of people at work who have already pegged her as an arrogant bitch.

On the other hand, though, I rather admire her ambition. As I was working in the file room today, I found myself wondering where my ambitions all went. I had them when I was a kid, and when I was a teenager. Now it seems that my major ambitions are just to make it through another day of work and to have enough money to pay the bills. Maybe get a house one of these days. Not too much beyond that really drives me. I guess most of my ambitions faded away in a haze of “good enough for now.” Since I got this job full-time, I haven’t even bothered to look for another one. Despite the fact that I was making almost twice as much money before, and despite the fact that my job leaves me almost brain-dead by the end of each day. I guess I should really try to get off my ass and make something better of myself…

Monday, January 4, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 29 of 365

Today I got up in not all that great a mood. Our queen bed has a twin blanket on it, and we always wind up having problems with the blanket ending up on one side or another of the bed. So this morning, I ended up with only the comforter over me, and the girlfriend had most of the blankets off of her, too. They were mostly just jumbled in the middle of the bed, doing neither of us any good. And she snapped at me about swiping all the blankets, and it annoyed me for most of the rest of the day. I shouldn’t let little things like that bug me so much, but sometimes I do…

Work was the usual stuff this morning. I went up to the storage place and payed my bill at lunch. While there, I picked up a couple of my guitar stands to take back home. I was going to come back here and vacuum some, but it turned out that the girlfriend was already home. She took half the day off because she’s going to be working on Saturday. So instead of vacuuming, I just had myself a sandwich and headed back off to work.

The latter half of the day was rather hectic. When I got there, I had one pick-up run to make. By the time I got that guy, the home office had called and said they had two more pick-ups. Since they weren’t really on the way back to the shop, I told them I’d just drop off the one person and then go back and get the others. And by the time I got to the office to drop off that first guy, there were actually three pick-ups to make. Fortunately, they were all here in Denton, so I was able to do a fairly quick loop to get them all. Then when I got back to the shop, I had two to take home. One of those was quite a little way out, too, so I didn’t end up getting back to the shop until about 6:20. Fortunately, no one had signed up between the time I left and when I got back.

I left work a couple minutes early and headed down to Home Depot to pick up some stuff for my closet shelf. Their parking lot looked nearly empty, but the girl who greeted me at the door said that they were open until ten. I hope their business picked up over those last couple of hours, because it seemed pretty dead in there. After getting my wood, I headed next door to Target. I finally remembered to get some more black socks to go with my work uniform. Mostly, I was looking for a blanket, but there was also a good deal on some plastic storage carts. I picked up a five-drawer unit (pictured) which I think will help me get organized a little more upstairs. At very least I hope it’ll help…

Little by little...

I stopped at the storage unit to pay the bill today and brought home a couple of my guitar stands. Not only getting a little bit of stuff out of the storage unit, but they’ll let me get a couple of my instruments out of the way, instead of just leaning against other stuff in the room…


I stopped at Home Depot on the way home today and picked up some 1×2 pine boards to make the frame-type thing. I also picked up some wall anchors to make sure the screws don’t rip out of the wall. I need to measure the section of the closet I’m going to use and then cut the boards to the proper lengths. I think I got more wood than I actually need, but I’m going to use the rest to make the framework for my train layout. I think I’m going to make about five one-foot-high shelves. That should certainly hold most of my clothes, I think…

Tomorrow’s mission: Measure the closet and begin cutting the wood…

Daily Journal: Day 28 of 365

I was going to get up early today, go to the store to get a brisket to smoke and get to work with that. But after staying up until almost 2:30 in the morning playing with the Wii, I didn’t end up getting out of bed until almost 11:00. Then I dragged my heels for a while and finally got out to do some shopping a little after noon.

On the way home, some lady came out of the Walgreens parking lot onto Elm Street the wrong direction. It’s a fairly major one-way street in town, but fortunately it wasn’t as busy as usual, being a Sunday. I honked at her and slammed on my brakes before hitting her head-on, and she managed to get turned around before the next people coming around the corner could slam into her. I don’t know if she wasn’t from around here or if she just wasn’t thinking about what she was doing, but I’m glad an accident was avoided.

I got the smoker fired up and the brisket on when I got home. I think I’ve just about got my smoking technique down pretty well, but it would be nice to have larger chunks of wood to work with the next time I do it. In any case, I got a good three and a half hours of smoking in on the brisket before it headed into the oven at 200 degrees. The house has pretty much been smelling smoky and delicious since then. With any luck, it’ll come out even better than the one I made for the girlfriend’s birthday last week, but we’ll just have to wait till tomorrow to see.

I haven’t done a whole lot aside from the cooking today. I did vacuum the bedroom again, and I did a little bit of organization up in the spare room upstairs. And I also did a bit of work on Mom’s cross-stitch project (pictured). Since I obviously didn’t get it done for Christmas, I guess the next goal is going to be to finish it by Mother’s Day. But I’m done with it today, and it’s off to bed with me now…

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Daily Journal: Day 27 of 365

It was a fairly long and busy day today. I got up at about 10:00. The girlfriend was having some fairly bad allergy issues, so I vacuumed the bedroom and the living room to try to help out some. It seemed to help at least a little. I really need to try to vacuum pretty much every day to try to keep her from feeling miserable.

We went to a hockey game at the American Airlines Center (pictured) today. Unfortunately, the Stars looked quite lackluster in the first period. They managed to come out of that one even at 0-0, but that luck didn’t last too much longer. They got scored on in the second period. They managed to score one goal shortly thereafter, but it got waved off because they said it was kicked in. I think it should have counted, but of course my opinion, and those of all the other Stars fans in the arena, didn’t mean squat. They did eventually get a goal to tie it in the early part of the third period, but Vancouver scored to take a 2-1 lead just a couple minutes later, and then they added an empty-netter to put the game away.

After the game, we stopped at the Macaroni Grill in Lewisville. She hasn’t eaten there for years, and I’ve never eaten there. She had the dish she always prefers there, which is the Penne Rustico. She said it wasn’t as good as it was before. I had the Shrimp Portofino, which was all right, but nothing to really write home about. Overall, it was about the same as Olive Garden, in my opinion. Maybe a touch better, but certainly not very much.

After the dinner, we stopped at Hobby Lobby, which is clearing out their Christmas items. They’re now at 80% off. I also had to get some supplies for my drawing endeavors, which I hope to start this year. So, I got a few pencils, good quality art pens, and similar things, as well as a new car for my prospective train setup. The girlfriend picked up a few gift bags and the like, as well as some nice ornaments for us and a few tacky ornaments for next year’s white elephant gift and ornament exchange, assuming we get invited again.

Following Hobby Lobby, it was on to Best Buy, where she wanted to find a new game for the Wii. It’s called Just Dance, and unfortunately Best Buy didn’t have it. I picked up the Wii Sports Resort, though. Our friends Scott and Betty recommended it quite highly. Unfortunately, it requires the special motion sensor thing for the remotes, and they were sold out of those.

So we bought my game and drove down to Hastings to see what games and such they had there. They also didn’t have the Just Dance, and they also didn’t have the motion sensor doodad, but we did each pick up a cheap CD from the $3.99 clearance bin. I got Stanley Clarke’s Bass Days, which I think might be a compilation of stuff from various of his solo CDs. I’m not familiar enough with his catalog to know for sure. She got Cargo by Men At Work. And then it was off to see if Target had her game and the sensors.

They had the game. It cost a little more than the price on Amazon or the Best Buy website, but I was interested in the instant gratification factor, so I got it anyway. And then we dropped off the rent and returned home.

We’ve spent the past five or six hours mostly playing the Wii Sports Resort, which is indeed pretty good. Some of the games (like golf and bowling) are pretty similar to the versions on the original Wii Sports. There are slight differences, mostly due to the increased sensitivity of the advanced motion sensor. And there are a lot of new games. Some good, some so-so. We’ve played a little of each of them, and so far I haven’t found any really horrid ones. The girlfriend is a lot better at some (like frisbee) than I am, so I guess I’d better practice up over the next few days. And, of course, she kicks my ass at the Just Dance. We played a couple of rounds of that together, and I actually did all right on some of them. Then she did a few of the advanced ones by herself, and I think they would have kicked my ass pretty badly. Now she’s playing the frisbee golf, which I suck at. And I think it’s just about time for me to start getting ready for bed. Another day tomorrow…

Friday, January 1, 2010

Not a good start, but I'm going to try to keep going...

I have a page on my website with all of my resolutions listed, divided into sections for daily, weekly, and monthly items. They’re in a table with columns for the number possible and the number done for each of the items. So far, of the 16 items on the daily list, I’ve done a total of 7 of them, and half of one more. Not exactly a stellar beginning, but I really need to just let it slide for today and not think that since I don’t have that 100% rating, I should just stop altogether. That’s what I usually wind up doing, but I’ve decided that since these are things that I’m trying to do to better myself, even doing them halfway is better than not doing them at all. So, onward and (hopefully) upward…

Daily Journal: Day 26 of 365

It’s not been a great day for my New Year’s resolutions. I had too much to drink at the New Year’s Eve party last night. It was a lot of fun, but I really shouldn’t have got the bottle of rum on the way there. There was a white elephant gift exchange at the party, which was quite a bit of fun. I don’t really remember what we got as our gifts, but I know there wasn’t anything that we really wanted all that much. Which, of course, is the objective.

The ride home was a lot less problematic than I thought it was going to be. The weather said that it was supposed to freeze, but it didn’t seem very icy. No slipping and sliding to speak of, and we made it home and I crashed pretty immediately. Unfortunately, I woke up a few hours later and was sick. When I woke up in the morning, I wasn’t exactly feeling top of the world, although I wasn’t as hung over as I would have been had I not thrown up.

I’ve pretty much just been watching college bowl games on the tube most of the day. I did get a few minor things on my resolution list done, but overall it’s a pretty pathetic start. I guess I’ll give myself a mulligan on this one and start trying to take them a bit more seriously tomorrow…