25 Sept 2016

By the calendar, it’s Fall. By my reckoning, we’re really close. I count “Fall” as the first morning below 50° F. Close, today, at 52°. A busy work week, productive but long after several “short” weeks under my belt. I also went to the office yesterday to do some work that required off-business hours AND onsite for “just in case the SAN firmware update fails.” All went smoothly this time, thank FSM.

The big events of the weekend were yard work ones. I used the hedge trimmers and the electric chainsaw to clear out the front garden beds and rid us of an elderly and crufty forsythia. I’m going to have to find something else to plant in that corner, but not immediately. Then I used a hoe and finished cleaning up the beds, a de-thatching rake to clean up some of the weedier areas of lawn (more to be done there) and got everything necessary out to the curb for tomorrow’s green waste pickup.

Tonight: ibuprofin.

This evening I composed a dish of red potatoes, mild Italian sausage, a yellow onion, some garlic (to taste, and I like a lot), several green bell and hot peppers (from the garden), and green beans. While the four pounds of potatoes boiled, I browned the 2 pounds of sausage in a sauce pan. Once the potatoes and the meat was drained and combined, I deglazed the sauce pan with a splash of chardonnay, then dropped in the  onion, garlic, and peppers. After a couple of minutes, I added the 2 pounds of frozen green beans and let everything veggie steam for a couple of minutes. All that went in on top of the sausage and potatoes, along with a liberal helping of additional dried red pepper flakes. Fold to combine, and enjoy! The pot contained enough to feed a small army, or me for most of the upcoming week.

This Tuesday is your last chance to see The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), staged by the Annapolis Shakespeare Company at the Reynolds Tavern courtyard. Just sayin’ …

Current (re)reading: Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, Tenth Anniversary Edition

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Our condolences to the family and friends of Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) Airman Devon M. Faulkner, 24, of North Carolina, who died on Sept. 20 of a non-combat-related injury while underway.

19 Sept 2016

Yarrrr. Avast. Etc. Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day.

It was a busy week and a busy weekend. I fully intended to get something up here last night, but failed. Then I slept badly until the dog (accompanied by thunder and lightning) woke me and left me that way in the wee hours this morning. So I’m not in much better shape today, sadly. But moving along…

Work was work. On the weekend, the lawns got shaved, the dog got bathed, bathrooms were cleaned, and coffee was roasted, along with assorted other chores that escape me at the moment. Sunday we got over to Cash Lake. Lexi and I walked all the way around it while Marcia fished off the pier closest to the parking area.

Ooooh. Tuesday last, we went to see The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), staged by the Annapolis Shakespeare Company at the Reynolds Tavern courtyard. A lovely, riotous evening. Brian, Matt, and Johnny put on a hell of a show. It certainly helps to have seen a fair bit of Shakespeare, but a neophyte can enjoy this show. It’ll run again this week and next,  and that’s the end of a four month run. So go, GO! Next month, we’re seeing Poe and Twelfth Night.

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Our condolences to the family and friends of Warrant Officer Travis R. Tamayo, 32, of Brownsville, Texas, who died on Sept. 16 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in a non-combat-related incident

12 Sept 2016

Welcome back, us. We hared off to Atlanta for the weekend to visit our friends Jen and Kris. We’ve not visited since their wedding, four or so years back, so this was lovely! We drove down on Friday (12 hours door to door). Saturday we went to the Chihuly in the Garden exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

Chihuly in the Japanese Garden

Chihuly in the Japanese Garden

The installation in the Japanese Garden was my personal favorite. I’ve always had a soft spot for the suprises to be found in meticulously kept tiny gardens. Sunday we wandered around quaint downtown Roswell. There was shopping for some, and dogs to meet, and snacks to be had. That evening we watched Young Frankenstein, and bid Gene Wilder farewell.

This morning we were up well before dawn, and on the road by quarter to six.  Picked up the dog and home before six this evening. So, tired, but fun! Tomorrow, back to work.

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Our condolences to the family and friends of 1st Lt. Jeffrey D. Cooper, 25, of Mill Creek, Washington, who died on Sept. 10 in Kuwait, from a non-combat-related injury. Also not forgotten, our continued condolences to the families and friends of those who died fifteen years ago yesterday in New York City.

04 September 2016

Happy Birthday, Pete!

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It’s been a fun week. It was a three day work week for me – I took off Thursday and Friday to burn some hours and make a five day weekend happen. I got some chores done. We went fishing (and Marcia caught a small-ish big mouth bass that we gave back to the lake):

Marcia caught a bass

Marcia caught a bass

And on a long walk around the neighborhood, Lexi was perplexed:

Two turtles fornicating

Two turtles fornicating

The Fitbit says I did five days of exercise, although I only did three dedicated exercise days, truth be told. But the work counts. Sadly, so do the muffins I bought during the shopping run today. I’ll have to work those off this week.

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I didn’t make DragonCon this year. Okay, I’ve never made DragonCon, and my luck I probably won’t. But that’s okay. People I know and know of had a good time, and that’s a good thing.

I also finished my re-read of Anne Leckie’s Imperial Radch series: Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword, and Ancillary Mercy. I read these books as they came out, and it was good to read them again, binge-ish. Such good writing, compelling characters, and wonderful plotting. They continue to be Highly Recommended.

In my queue right now: The August eBook from Strange Horizons, the September issue of Clarkesworld, and Stephenson’s The Diamond Age is my bedside reader at the moment. I go to reading on dead trees when I wind down at night before sleep.

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DoD announced no new casualties in the last week. Grateful. Ciao!

28 Aug 2016

Well, another busy week gone.

Sadly, I’m a cranky bastard today because they had a late-night party at the pool last night that ran until midnight (a bit later, actually) with loud music. It was a neighborhood-approved event, so I didn’t set the cops on them, but I’ll bitch about it to the management and the board. If they can’t control the volume, I don’t want my HOA fees going to that sort of event. The restless first part of the night leaves me feeling altogether unrested. Sigh. The good news is that next weekend is the last weekend for the pool season. Yay!

Exercise for the week was acceptable – 5 days with more than 10K steps, 4 days with significant exercise including the normal stretching and calisthenics followed by 35-45 minutes on the elliptical. So I’ve got that going for me. It’s still quite warm and humid in these parts. I’m hoping that fades out over the next week. Where I exercise, in the top floor, has been pretty warm. It’s a good workout, but too draining.

On the computing side of the ledger, I spent part of the weekend (for work) migrating a legacy system to a virtual environment, and patching another one. On the home front, I’ve got a test system with FreeBSD 11 RC2 installed and I’m doing some ports builds to exercise the OS. Since I use FreeBSD for both home and website, it seems fair that I not only kick the Project a few bucks a year (I do), but also test the latest and provide feedback as necessary, as a service to the OS and dev team that serves me well.

I harvested half a basket of assorted bell peppers out of the garden today.

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Our condolences to the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson, 28, of Irvine, California, who died on Aug. 23 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, of injuries caused by an improvised explosive device that detonated near his patrol while conducting dismounted operations.

21 Aug 2016

A busy week at work, a spot of fishing untroubled by fish, some chores and some shopping. That’s the week in a nutshell.

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DoD reported no new casualties in the last week. Ciao!

14 August 2016

[Muttered, from the stack of bodies on the cart]: I’m not dead, yet!

In the week leading up to last Saturday, I had five good days of exercise: pushing pretty hard. Then on the Saturday, I spent most of the day working out in the sun on an August summer day, and I destroyed myself. Lawns, yardwork, and deck/furniture cleaning. All that I did on Sunday last was relax, and crawl up the stairs to bed. I also took it far too easy this last week: just work, no working out to speak of. It’s too hot for nearly everything. I could make the house a lot cooler, but it would cost us several hundred dollars a month to do so. This will be over soon…

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Last night, we went to Turn of the Screw, another staged reading at the Annapolis Shakespeare Company! 70 minutes of harrowing horror, with shards of fun piercing the veil from time to time. The reading was superbly executed by Laura Rocklyn and Tony Tsendeas. I can’t exhort you to go – the Summer Staged Readings series is over, with the last of My Fair Lady on stage as I write these words. But there’s still time to see The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), and come October, the 2016/2017 season swings into action. I cannot recommend this company highly enough. I’ve been going to live theater (including LOTS of Shakespeare) over the last few decades, and I’m head-over-heels about this Company.

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The weather has turned to thunder and lightning, and the dog needs my attention. There’s not much else to report, though. Be well.

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Our condolences to the families and friends of these fallen warriors:

  • Lt. Col. Flando E. Jackson, 45, of Lansing, Michigan, died Aug. 4 in Southwest Asia from a non-combat-related injury.
  • Staff Sgt. Christopher A. Wilbur, 36, of Granite City, Illinois, died Aug. 12 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, from a non-combat-related injury.

31 July 2016

Fun weekend! I took the day off on Friday, and we  went fishing (no fish, but fishing doesn’t require that) nearly first thing in the morning. In the afternoon, we went to see Star Trek Beyond. A good entertainment, that. I like this cast, and my worries about Justin Lin’s (ed: not Jason, sigh) direction were just that: worries. Good fun flick.

Saturday evening, we went to Annapolis Shakespeare Company‘s staged reading (and singing) of My Fair Lady. I’ve seen this show twice, now. Once was with Rex Harrison, back in the 1980’s. I’ll tell you – for me, this one was better! And extraordinary: the show we saw was the result of 8 rehearsals and an opening night. Are you near Annapolis? Go see this show. Go see Turn of the Screw, which starts soon. Subscribe to the upcoming season, which looks wonderful!

Today, shopping and helping a friend fettle a new computer and get stuff copied off the old, likely powned old one.

Spots of exercise and days over 10K steps this week, but nothing to write home about. More, soon. Seriously.

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I don’t like politics, and I’m not a fan of politicians. But anyone who’s not planning on voting this Fall needs to pay attention. Register. Vote. Even if you disagree with what I say next, please register and vote. Please. However much I’d like to vote for Gary Johnson this year, I can’t participate in nadering this election. I’m with Hillary this round, because the alternative would be worse than Nehemiah Scudder.

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DoD announced no new casualties in the last week, for which I am glad. Ciao!

24 July 2016

Not much to report – a busy week with friends in from out-of-town for several days. Temps steadily in the mid-90’s with humidity to match. Yardwork yesterday, and out for supper last night. Exhaustion today. Made more salsa, though, cut my hair and cleaned the coffee roaster. Good times.

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Our condolences to the family and friends of 1st Lt. Anais A. Tobar, 25, of Miami, Florida, who died on July 18 in Southwest Asia from a non-combat-related injury.

17 July 2016

A long week, and not much in the way of exercise, either. I only got one proper day of exercise in, on Tuesday. The rest of the days were too busy, too hot, or both. But there was some good news:

First 2016 salsa

First 2016 salsa

Yup, first salsa! Huzzah! Still no jalapeños, so here’s the ingredients:

  • 2/3 of a bowl (that bowl, pre-chopping) of roma and sweet cherry tomatoes, chopped fine.
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced.
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and minced.
  • 1 immature red habañero.
  • 3 immature serrano peppers (to taste, natch).
  • cilantro to taste (a couple of tablespoons is my sweet spot).
  • 1 teaspoon cumin.
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes.
  • A couple of grinds of sea salt.
  • A few grinds of black pepper.
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder.

That made a mighty fine salsa!

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Of note, I went to a CALUG meeting on Wednesday, where Berend Tober spoke on his PostgreSQL-based trading game, Fairwinds. Interesting stuff, because I know less about PostgreSQL than several of the other database systems extant. Now I know a tiny bit more, thanks to Mr. Tober.

Friday I took the day off work, so that I could do chores, wash the car, etc.

Today I spent mostly doing remote work, with a long break in the middle. New production deployments require non-business hour work – that’s how the game is played, and it’s a joy to finally get some of these systems into production after long preparation and testing.

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DoD announced no new casualties in the last week, for which we’re grateful. Ciao!