January 10, 2007: Blustery Day

Yes, it is actually cold in New Jersey today. It is my first snow in Newark!

I got up a little early this morning while Min was getting ready for her day so that I could get her Vision M loaded up with some Audible books for her to listen to while she travels tomorrow (assuming that she travels tomorrow – she might go to Geneseo on Thursday night or she might wait until Friday morning.) I got her M working and loaded it up with “Mayflower” and “Confessions of a Shopoholic”. Audible rocks.

After Min and Oreo left for work and daycare I got busy getting packed. I am taking a huge amount of stuff with me to Geneseo on this trip. The biggest items are large, empty boxes that we have had to contend with down in Newark for things like our television and coffee maker. We don’t want to throw them away because we might need them when we move stuff but there is no place down in New Jersey for us to keep anything that large. It is a real problem. So now it is all going to the barn so we won’t have to worry about it any more.

Before leaving for work this morning I managed to also finish reading the last bit of “Extreme Programming for Web Projects” that I received from Amazon on Monday. Now I am ready to tackle new books that have been arriving. One arrived at dad’s house from eBay today as well. Maybe I can finish that one while I am in New York so that I won’t have to ship it down to Newark and then back up again when I am done.

I packed up the one server going to Scranton and two servers going back to New York. One is just a spare for parts and one is being decommissioned and retired. That is a lot of extra “space” in the apartment and a really good feeling to have all of those machines “dealt with.” Dominica packed several bags of clothes and shoes that she doesn’t plan on wearing anytime soon to take back as well. That was really important because we were not able to close our closets most of the time and it was making our bedroom seem to be a continual mess.

It took me about an hour to get the luggage cart all loaded up and by the time I was done I was just beginning to see a few flakes in the air outside the windows. These are the first snow flakes that I have seen in New Jersey! I was thinking that I might make it all year without seeing snow except for when I visit New York.

By the time I made it down to the lobby to start loading the car it was no longer a nice, light, first snow of the season but was instead heavy wind and almost blizzard-like conditions. I could not believe what I was seeing and in the heart of the city, no less, where there are lots of big buildings to block the wind! The wind was just whipping down Raymond Boulevard from west to east. It was crazy. Joseph, our regular morning valet, came outside with me into the “storm” and helped me get the car loaded. It would have been horrible if he hadn’t been there to help. It took two loads between the two of us and the luggage cart and things were blowing over and almost away and it took quite a bit of work to get the car loaded so that everything fit and that I could see out of the back window. We had so much stuff that we had to put down the rear seats and take out the trunk cover to make it all fit. Even the front passenger seat is full.

The snow only lasted until I had made it out to US 78 and then the sun came back out and the snow completely vanished as if it had never happened except that there was snow blowing off of the tops of cars on the highway for the next twenty minutes. The wind kept up and it was still cold when I got to the office but the snow was gone for the moment. It ended up being a beautiful, crisp and clear day in New Jersey after that little, unprovoked squall.

This morning was totally crazy at the office but that sure made the time pass quickly. It has been quite some time since I have had this much work to do. I am hoping that tomorrow will not be like this too but I suppose that it is fairly likely that it will be.

For people who have been living in a shoebox or under a rock or slaving away in a third-world sweatshop (as if people in the third-world don’t sweat enough they actually waste time manufacturing the stuff!) or something, don’t forget that daylight savings time is changing this year and it is coming much sooner than you would think. We will be “springing forward” on March 11th this year. In fact, now we don’t spring forward anymore but winter forward instead. It doesn’t even make sense now. Personally I think that this is a truly boneheaded move on the part of the US government this year (thanks George Bush for signing this one into law) – it is likely to cost us a fortune in power consumption and even more in “change management” in US business and who knows how much productivity will be lost in conveying this change and managing it in international businesses. At the office where I work there is a massive effort underway to keep our computer systems operating on the correct time system. The cost on a national scale is probably quite significant but difficult to estimate. All I know is that the cost is all loss and totally unnecessary. US business has plenty to do attempting to compete in the global economy to be sacrificing labour time to the childish whims of an insane wanna-be dictator. The only good side to the whole DST fiasco is that congress maintains the right to change the time back if this proves to be a bad move – except that the issues is the MOVING not the actual dates and so if it proves to be bad then the recourse is to move AGAIN making it even worse. Good thinking. There is a reason that all of these people have to be politicians and can’t get normal jobs.

Things slowed down after lunch like they always do. Everyone gets food and is out of the office over a two hours span and then everyone is sleepy when they get back to the office so nothing happens for several hours start just before noon. It is funny how that happens in almost any office setting. Lunch just totally kills productivity. I think that people should work from first thing in the morning until lunch. Take the afternoon off and then work again in the evening. Seems to me like that would work better. Run errands and stuff during the sleepy, worthless afternoon hours.

I started using Google’s document system for tracking my books today. I thought that using an online spreadsheet that I could easily access from home or from work would serve as a pretty decent, quick and easy way to deal with the need to track my books. I should really use or write a simple web application to do that but I don’t have the time to write the program nor do I have the time to enter all of the data. So I am just getting the titles and basic info put in so that I can avoid buying duplicate books and I will try to get it organized into some more useful form sometime down the road. I also attempted to upload my resume to Google today to see if I could store that online and edit it there but I immediately discovered that Google couldn’t handle the complex formatting and that that was not a workable solution. So that I am stuck working with locally installed, normal office applications.

Just before the end of the day at the office today we had a fire alarm go off and we all had to go outside and stand around in the cold. After weeks of insanely warm weather we have to go out and stand around on the one really cold day that we have had all year! It would figure.

Things slowed down at the office towards the end of the day, and after the fire alarm sent everyone outside for a little while, so I was able to escape at a reasonable time to hit the road for Scranton. I am going to make an attempt at taking the regular local roads through Scranton tonight to get from the data center back to US 81 on the north side of town. That should be a lot more interesting than just driving back out and taking 81 around town the way that I normally do. So I will probably get lost.

I expect to be in Geneseo around eleven o’clock this evening. I am leaving Warren a bit before six and Scranton is not out of the way at all. Now if it just can hold off from snowing the entire time that I am driving I will be all set.

I will be in Geneseo tomorrow. I am having breakfast with dad at the Omega and I will be working from home all day. Then starts my official four day weekend.

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