Thursday, April 28, 2005

on the flipside...

After that last post, I figured I needed to say something a bit more positive. I'm looking forward to the weekend, however, as I will be spending time in Madison, starting out with a nice 5 mile run (Crazylegs Classic), and then exploring the city for the afternoon, enjoying Wisconsin's southern climes. I'm predicting that temperatures will be more spring-like, hopefully mid-50s for the run, climbing to about 60 or so for the remainder of the day. Starting to get back to normal...finally.

The post on American Gods is still in development hell, but will be coming, hopefully by the end of the weekend, depending on what else comes up.

it really does...

After spending the entire 2 weeks of balmy days (when temperatures were in the 70s and 80s) stuck inside my office, I've now had the *good* fortune to be outside working with the surveyors for this entire week. Temperatures have been in the 30s and low 40s, and windchills are back near freezing. There has been rain, sleet, and/or snowflakes every day this week. Lucky me, I'll be finishing out the week outside as well.

T minus 64.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

no matter how you look at it, that just ain't right...

I woke up this morning to notice that last night's cold rain has changed over to snow. That's just fucked up.

Monday, April 25, 2005

shortest summer on record

So, we now seem to have entered fall here in the less-than-temperate wasteland, as its rainy, chance of snow, and back down into the 20s overnight. Summer lasted a week this year...I'm guessing the Wisconsin Tourism Board is going to threaten Mother Nature with a lawsuit or two for this transgression.

On the work front, life is a little better. Still not a whole lot to do, but at least with the construction season (one of 2 total seasons we have in WI, the other being winter) I get out of the office to assist other sections who find themselves shorthanded. Temporary assignment: CWA. I'm sure I'll be back in the office by the end of the week though.

T minus 67.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

if we weren't all crazy, we would go insane...

I just have to say that Jimmy Buffett is even better on vinyl. I heart my turntable.

That is all.

I don't know where I'm running now, I'm just running on...

Earlier this week, I had planned on doing a long run today...but, the weather reports kept getting more and more ominous. Cold weather, windy weather, chance of rain, chance of snow, doom and gloom.

I woke up this morning to find that, yes, it was a bit chilly...but by 2pm, it had warmed up nicely...close to 50 with the sunshine, so I went ahead and did my longest run ever. Back in February, in the bowels of the YMCA, I ran 8 miles in 73 minutes on a treadmill, and got really really bored in the process. Today, I ran approximately 11.2 miles in 96 minutes, and enjoyed the entire time. It is a little blustery out, but never really a factor in the run. I'm sure tomorrow will consist of sitting on my couch being lazy, but that's well earned at this point.

I'll also be starting a new book (see the side bar for details) while being lazy, as I finished "American Gods" today, and will hopefully have a more thorough post discussing it in the near future.

Friday, April 22, 2005


So, today wasn't a horrible day overall...I did dodge a small financial bullet after work. I had a routine car service appointment (oil change) and since the car is now 4 years old, it was time for a new battery. In changing the battery, the technicians checked the alternator. Yeah, take a guess what's coming...the equipment indicated it was almost at a failure point. However, the technician decided that it was worth double-checking the readings from their equipment.

The second results indicated that the alternator, while slightly below optimal, is still working, the bill today was about $130, rather than the nearly $500 it could have been.

To celebrate, I wrote a check to pay off the remainder of my car loan.

No such thing as a free lunch...

So today my section chief took us all out to lunch...mostly to celebrate the fact that we're starting to turn the section around. But of course, the powers that be want more. My "obligation" is about $7,000 a month in billables...and thanks to MY CONNECTIONS, we just got a subcontract worth about $30,000 a year (for the next two years) (assuming we do that much work under the contract) I just covered myself for 4 months each of the next two years...not that I'll be there for nearly any of it.

Additionally, the report I did for a client late last year is turning into a design contract that will probably be worth $30-$40,000 as well.

However, I was kindly informed that I'm supposed to (help) bring in an additional 3 jobs (of any size) in the next year...bah! I'm the only one bringing in the work, and they want more...bleh bleh bleh...

So yeah, lunch today came with strings attached.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

kill the headlights and put it in neutral...

I really need the next few months to fly really sucks. Today I had my FIRST performance review (they're supposed to happen every 6 months, I've been there 16+ do the math). I bluffed my way though the whole damn thing, basically because I'm not about to tell anyone that I'm leaving until July 15th, and then that's only out of courtesy. I never bothered to take the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) exam, as I opted to take the GRE instead. Now, my employers would like me to take it (I've agreed to October...go figure) so I can take the PE (Professional Engineer) exam next April. Yeah right.

In other news, it was a beautiful day for a run...I did about 5.3 miles in 45 minutes. Nice jog, easy recovery. Tomorrow will likely be a 1 hour bike ride after work. Too bad work wastes the best part of every day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Quick update

Well, I made up my mind, and will be running the Crazylegs Classic in Madison on April 30th. The deciding factor came when I took a look at the route maps for the Crazylegs and the Mad City Half Marathon (which I already signed up for on May 29th) and noticed that there is a significant overlap between the two runs. Since I've never done a run in Madison, I figured it can't hurt to get a preview of the half marathon course a month early.

Monday, April 18, 2005

What to do, what to do...

Today was so beautiful...I really loathe having to spend 8 hours chained to a desk in an office without windows. Thankfully, the days are long enough now that I can get home and enjoy it for awhile. I went for a great 1 hour run (I figure I covered about 7 miles) and it was quite relaxing, although I'm rather tired now.

I'm about 95% sure that I'm going to enter the Crazy Legs Classic (8K) on April 30th. I have until Friday to decide for sure, and I really do need to get back to Madison for additional apartment hunting. The run is also early enough in the day that I can take in the Farmer's Market and make a day of being in Madison.

Like I said, I'm about 95% sure right now.

More later...

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin...

Well, trivia recovery is nearly complete, although it's taken longer than usual with the insertion of the conference earlier this week. Any excuse to miss work and still get paid is perfectly acceptable to me however. I've gotten about 18 hours of sleep this weekend, and feel great.

Last night involved making a pan of chocolate brownies (the box had been in my cupboard for years) and they are delicious. Now I'm deliberating the purchase of some vanilla ice cream to go with.

Today, I earned the right to eat some of those brownies with a 21 mile bike ride (in 78 minutes). The weather was beautiful, not much wind, and I'm very glad I bought the bike I did last's a great ride.

My posting will likely get more frequent, and probably include some news, commentary, etc. in the near that my brain is less fried.

Friday, April 15, 2005

What a long long week!

So, the week is finally over, and hopefully I'll finally be able to catch up on my sleep...caffeine is truly my friend at this moment.

My trip to Madison, while not really yielding any immediate apartment results, was excellent nonetheless. First, the birthday evening with my cousin in Mt. Horeb was nicely relaxing. An evening of burritos and Coronas (no brew pub trip this time), and X-Box was time well spent. After getting up at 5:45am, I headed to my conference in Pewaukee, and had a good time. I also may have a lead on a job for school this fall (either work study or a partial assistantship). Apparently my educational background and work experience has some value.

After the conference, I headed back to Madison and just bummed around for awhile. A trip to Best Buy, wandering around REI, a visit to The Exclusive Company, and then a swing back through my old neighborhood.

After a quick visit with my old neighbors, I headed back downtown for dinner at the Great Dane with LC.

Quick report on dinner: excellent food, excellent conversation (if I hadn't been so tired I'd be reporting on the Great Dane's excellent beer too). I'm more confident then ever that Madison is the right place for me to be, and from everything I've heard so far, law school will be a great experience. LC's report on future classmates was also quite promising.

The drive back to the temperate wasteland proved quite uneventful, and work today wasn't worth the effort...especially considering how nice it was outside. I'm already looking forward to my next planned trip to Madison over Memorial Day weekend...although I may have to head down earlier to do some apartment searching.

Only 73 days left of work...they just can't go by fast enough.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Post Trivia Post

Sleepy, oh so sleepy. Over trivia weekend, I got 7 hours of sleep. That's 7 hours between 9am Friday and 2am Monday. So tired still. It took 2 cans of Diet Dew to make it through my workday, with the first at 10am. I think it really didn't help that I've got virtually nothing to do while at bored.

Anyway, tomorrow afternoon I'm heading down to Madison to celebrate my 28th birthday with my cousin in Mt. Horeb. This will likely involve a trip to the Grumpy Troll, several beers, and liberal amounts of X-Box gaming. Then I will be heading to a conference in the Milwaukee area on Thursday, followed by a return trip to Madison for apartment hunting and dinner with a fellow 0L UWLaw blogger.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Trivia Post #4

Quick trivia wrapup. Another year, but the same results. After 54 hours, 436 questions, uncountable cans of caffeinated beverages, we ended up in the same place as last year's contest. 21st place (out of 435 teams) with a total of 6380 points. 230 points ahead of 22nd place, 5 points behind 20th place.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Current meatspace coordinates

Thanks to the wonders of technology, you can now click here and see the patchwork quilt that surrounds my approximate location at 44.52 degrees north, 89.56 degrees west.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Trivia Post #3

So today I took a half day from work and got to spend the afternoon waiting in line outside in some wonderful weather. Trivia registration started officially at 3pm, and I was in line at 1:15pm...and no, I was not anywhere near the front of the line. There were at least 60-70 people lined up ahead of me, some of whom had been there since early morning, or even the night before. They don't do it for prizes, special recognition, or anything else...they simply do it for fun.

I was in line with the representative of the team that won the contest last year, along with the team that finished 11th, and several teams that have been playing for many years as well. We just missed out on the top 20 last year, but right now I've got a good feeling about this year.

So why register the first day if the contest isn't until this weekend? Well, the contest actually starts at 3pm with the start of registration. Every team is given two copies of a book called The New Trivia Times, which contains 24 pictures of people, animals, logos, advertisements, etc., and the teams have until the question regarding that particular picture is asked during the contest to identify it, and find out all kinds of other facts that may be connected to it.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Trivia Post #2

Just got back from seeing Martin & Orloff, and it was a trip. Very strange, hysterically funny, and loaded top to bottom with trivial tidbits that we're now just dreading as to what may become the 6 questions added to the contest. Now, thanks to that damn dirty daylight savings time change, it's past 3am, and I should get some sleep.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Trivia Post #1 (of many)

Okay...I'm now entering what can only be called "Trivia Week" here in the now thawed wasteland. The World's Largest Media Trivia Contest is played annually here, and this is the 36th year. There will be numerous events that I will likely be commenting on as this week goes along.

The first of these events is the Trivia Movie (a midnight showing of an obscure film, unlikely to be available in any manner, legal or otherwise). The movie this year is Martin & Orloff, and I'm heading out in a few minutes to wait in line (outside) for about 1 1/2 hours so as to actually get in to see the movie and have a decent seat. The movie sounds great, and the two main actors were interviewed last Saturday (via telephone) on the local college radio station that hosts the contest...this film should be a trip.