January 1, 2007: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from everyone here at Sheep Guarding Llama!

Last night while I was waiting for dad to get done with dinner so that Dominica and I could go over there to hang out I got our Christmas theme switched over to our Winter theme to get everyone through the cold New York nights (for those of our readers in New York which is probably about a third of you.) I didn’t want to leave the Christmas theme up after the holidays like the people across the street’s outdoor Christmas lights.

Dominica and I stayed at dad’s house last night until just a little after midnight before driving home in the driving rain and high winds. Boy was it ever windy. We drove home at forty miles an hour most of the way. It was really something out there. Once we were home Dominica wasn’t really sleepy and she played her Nintendo DS for an hour or so. Long enough that I had to go get a book to read until she was ready to fall asleep.

I was awake around half past eight this morning but Dominica and Oreo slept in for another hour. Dad came by to pick us up to get some breakfast at the Omega at half past ten.

After breakfast dad came over to the house in Geneseo. Dominica packed our car to get it ready for the trip to Newark and I worked on getting a set of boxes ready to be taken over to dad’s house for storage. We don’t have any time to waste now. We have a lot of stuff left to pack, although it does not appear to be as much as I had previously feared, and I have a lot of technical work that has to be done to get everything ready to move as well. We have fifteen weeks to get everything moved so it is a bit of a challenge. Fortunately I have another long weekend due very soon so I am hoping to be back in Geneseo in two weeks to do some serious moving. If I really work at it I might be able to get a bulk of the physical moving done at that time. We will be saving the large “truck” items like the sofa, loveseat, dining room set and baker’s rack until the last minute when we get some sort of moving truck to haul them.

We went over to dad’s for a few minutes to drop off the load that I had gotten ready and so that I could help dad lift his old one horse sleigh onto his hay wagon. We have had that sleigh since I was a baby and he has finally managed to sell it after all of these years. That will clear up some barn space and make the new owners quite happy, I imagine. It is a nice antique but in really rough shape right now. It has to be totally refurbished to be useful in any way.

Dominica, Oreo and I hit the road returning to Newark just before three in the afternoon. Right about on our target. The weather wasn’t too bad and it was fairly warm out even without any sun and just a teeny bit of rain here and there. We stopped in Dansville to get a bite to eat at McDonalds before heading out onto the road.

Down in Avoca I got pulled over for speeding and got a ticket.  What a pain.  Just this morning I was thinking how cool it was that I had no tickets on my insurance – over three years without a ticket.  It seems to be my lot to always have one ticket.  Just one.  It has been about six years now that I have gone with just one ticket on my insurance.  As soon as one is gone, I get another to take its place.  It just keeps going and going.  Normally, though, the tickets seem fair and just unfortunate.  Today was not the case.  The ticket was written for a bit faster than I was going and I was singled out from all of the traffic around me when the trooper couldn’t even clearly see me as I was behind a tractor trailer.  We were going the same speed and he had to very carefully bother to clock only me and not any of the other traffic anywhere to have picked me out.  I wasn’t the first vehicle or the fastest.  I was just the cheapest car.  I have noticed that when driving the Mazda Proteges I get pulled over and never with any other vehicle.  Dominica noticed too that it was really obvious that we were profiled and picked out as a target and not because we were the first car seen or the easiest to get or the most obvious.  Well, we will see what the judge thinks.  This is just the ticket.  But what a pain 🙁

The rest of the drive was uneventful.  We stopped at Barnes and Nobles in Big Flatts to use the facilities and to do some quick shopping.  I picked up a book and Dominica got a calendar on sale that she had wanted.  I got “The Pragmatic Programer: From Journeyman to Master” that I have been eyeing for a while.  I need a lot of books to read this week.  I expect to get a lot of reading done as it is a slow week AND I am on the early shift all week.  The office is going to be all but empty tomorrow all day as it is the memorial day for the late President Gerald Ford.  A reading day for sure.

We got to Newark around nine or a little before.  We unloaded the car and got moved back into the apartment.  Oreo was very excited to be home again and ran around the apartment like a maniac.  We are glad to be home as well.  I checked in with dad to let him know that we were in and started a number of movies being processed on Dominica’s computer.  Dominica spent the evening studying for her A+ exam which technically expired yesterday but there are a few facilities that are continuing to offer the exam throughout the month and she is hoping to get into one of them to take it before there is no way to anymore.  If she doesn’t make it by the end of the month she will be really sorry as she will have to start the testing process again.  She is not taking any college classes this semester so that she can take the time to focus on getting the CompTIA A+ out of the way.  The A+ is such a stupid test that it is very difficult to study for.  A lot of the material on the exam is so dated that anyone having entered the IT industry in the last five years or so could easily have never worked with or seen much of the antiquated material on the exam.  For example, Dominica’s exam has a lot of Windows 95/98 questions as well as DOS!  But the purpose of the exam is to certify that she is ready for work, not for fixing old worthless home computers.  The reality is that any computer running Windows 95 is so old that no one could afford an IT professional’s time to work on it.  And the serious business world switched to Windows NT 4 around 1996!  That is eleven years ago.  That is an epoch in the computer industry.  I have been working with Windows desktop systems in business for a long time and cannot recall having to have worked on a Windows 95 machine since the late 1990’s.  And even then it was ridiculous and a sign of a place that you wouldn’t want to work.  To test people on those skills now is not only pointless but many IT professionals with many years of very serious experience may never have witnessed those systems first hand and have no reasonable way to get their hands on a Windows 95/98 machine today!  I don’t know anyone who owns one and can’t recall the last time that I knew someone who did.  Even Windows 2000 is rare today but a reasonable operating system to test on.  Windows XP replaced Windows 2000 and has been out for six years at this point.  A test covering anything more than Windows XP and Windows 2000 is just wasting people’s valuable time.  CompTIA really shows how little they think of their test takers.

We didn’t manage to get to bed until fairly late which is tough for me as I have to be up much earlier than I am used to in the morning.  I have to be in the office by seven thirty tomorrow.  I will be up around six thirty.

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