Friday, September 4, 2009

My wife zings me, and for once I laugh last

There are some key ways that I fit the stereotypes about guys to a T, and one of them is reading maps and asking for directions. If I don't know an area I almost always arm myself with a google map, but this time I was taking my family only about 15 minutes away -- and why waste a sheet of paper for such a short trip? And if the trip takes longer than expected -- so much the better because I love to drive new places and find new routes in the car.

My wife, who doesn't share my love of exploring, is a model of sainthood on these expeditions --but I know she suffers. So recently when she came up with one of the all time great zingers, I could do nothing but practically laugh myself off the road into a tree.

As I mentioned, we're on a short 15 minute drive to my friend's house. I glance at the google map, but don't print it because I think I know right where this is and how to get to it. I do jot down a few street names in my GTD moleskin notebook, and give the list to my wife. We get to our first major turn, and I take it. My wife immediately points out that the name in my notebook does not match the street sign. I say (of course), "I'm pretty sure this is the street though. Let's check the next street sign. "

We drive a little ways, and of course the next sign matches the first one -- but I drive on having a hard time digesting this turn of events. Immediately my wife says, "Quick honey, call the county because someone has put up the wrong street signs. Someone must be told!" After laughing myself to tears for several minutes, I tell her we're going to take the next planned turn and double check that the street sign doesn't match. She accepts this arrogance in quiet amazement as I try to talk her through that this really is the only possiblity of the route as we know the other streets around there reasonably well.

So we take the turn and look at the street sign -- and it Matches what was on the list! That never happens to me -- usually when I insist on the stupid choice I immediately pay for it in some wonderfully humiliating way. But this time ... I was right.

Putting that aside, the zinger has come up countless times and provided tons of laughs -- another credit to my lovely wife. But, she now has to put up with another couple of years of new routes as I remind her about the last time I knew the route.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What I've been Doing -- Thing One

One of the things that has kept me busy is my recent acquisition of a new computer. I used to buy a new computer every 5 years to semi-keep up with the gaming curve. I'd usually spend a couple of thousand dollars on it, and it would be very good but not the best.

A couple of months ago at work, one of my excellent co-workers mentioned he bought an amazing gaming laptop from Best Buy (pictured at left) for $800. I checked it out, and was immediately jealous. After thinking about it for a while, I decided I couldn't really afford a new computer.

Step forward another month, and my dad decided to take the plunge and purchase a computer to use for work and for gaming at home. I did a lot of research on price points, and ended up recommending a Gateway 7805u from Best Buy. Dual Core, 1066MHz FSB with 4 Gigs DDR3, and a Tier One video card for $1200. That is crazy good. Only negative was the screen, which was 1440x900 -- but what a price. Of course, he had to go through the University so couldn't get that laptop, but that's a different story ...

So I was researching the laptop for him, and told him -- it will be around for a while if you change your mind. The next day, I visited a Best Buy and learned the model had just been discontinued. A few weeks later I was at a store that had one left, and it was deeply discounted. I finally gave in to temptation -- and was especially pleased to learn it was one of the early 7805 which had a full 1900x1200 screen. It's taken me a couple of weeks to set it up and get used to Vista, but it is finally performing well -- incredibly well. I still can't believe the price I paid for this thing.

BTW, my dad ordered a roughly equivalent laptop, and only paid 350% what I paid. Them are the rules ...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Update on Mom

Hard to believe it's been over a month since I posted -- lots and lots going on. I've been using GTD to get my life organized, so I have lots of blog topics. I thought I would hit the most important one tonight -- mom :)

As I mentioned, she came through her first chemo treatment really well. The second one hit her like a freight train. She came home from the hospital dehydrated, and it turns out very anemic. She also is getting blood clots from her pic lines.

Now that the doctor is aware he is of course working on treating the symptoms. She just finished her third round of treatment -- actually was in the hospital over the fourth of July -- so let's see how she bounces back. If she bounces back really well, the doctor may let her go to Wyoming. I think it is one of the things keeping her hopes up.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Update on Mom

Speaking of insomnia, why don't hospitals let patients sleep? My mom's chemo keeps her in for 5 days at a time, and she gets maybe 4 hours of unbroken sleep a night. Sleep is so important for keeping a body healthy and strong -- why is that? She was told "Hospitals are for treating the sick not for getting sleep."

Other than being exhausted, she is in good spirits.


For some reason I have insomnia. Scratch that, it's not persistent. In any case, my sleep patterns are off this week from dog sitting -- he and I were on different sleep schedules so I kept him up and then he kept me up. Earlier in the week I got through my to-do list, which felt great. Now, I've got a couple of posts on my mind, and I work some more on a computing project that I work on. Eventually, I'll be tired enough to head back to bed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Life Balance

One of the things I've learned about myself is my lack of life balance. Due to having many responsibilities, my lack of life balance forces me to play catch-up in the areas I have been neglecting. Having recently been forced into a career change has presented me with the opportunity to try to re-balance my priorities, and I'm working on re-implementing GTD in my life. Yesterday I finally have all of my open loops collected into my system -- now I have to organize my projects, decide which ones are currently active, and start creating next actions.

One of my projects is figuring out how to balance my life better – I’ll post more as I read about it.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I took my mom to the hospital today to start her treatment for melanoma. There is no cancer in her skin, they did not catch it early, and it has spread -- that's the bad news. The good news is her immune system is actively fighting, and she has a great doctor. I wish I could do more, but all I can do is pray and help however I'm needed.

Don't take today for granted.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What does Chance of Rain mean?

I'm contemplating camping this weekend, and with 3 of my children at 3 years and younger I'm a little concerned about the forecast of 60% of rain for Saturday.

I've always wondered what Chance of Rain means. Does it mean there will be that much rain over the entire area over the course of a day? Or Chance for any given moment of a day there will be rain in one area? Or chance that rain will develop over all or part of the viewing area? I've always wondered at a time when I'm away from the computer -- but today I'll check Google.

From Carl Bialik's blog, it looks like different meteorologists define chance of precipitation differently. Some give the worst case scenario, but all use the term inconsistently. At least I've been confused for a reason. For What It's Worth paraphrases Weather For Dummies.

In conclusion, I can't conclude anything. However, I've decided what I really care about for camping is expected duration of rain for the area -- a storm or two is fine, but a day cooped up in a tent with my one and a half year old would wear on both our nerves.