February 27, 2009: A Very Long Friday

It’s Friday.  Oh is it every Friday.

The weather is great today.  Heavily overcast but warm.  Temperatures in mid-fifties for a change.  Very nice.

I was dreading weighing in this morning on the Wii after this week.  I avoided weighing in for several days because of the bad eating habits around my birthday.  I wanted to give the cupcakes and wine time to wear off although for a late night snack last night I treated myself to two bagels with lox and cream cheese which I thought was going to be a killer this morning.  But, fortunately, the week of bad eating only retarded my weight loss and did not actually stop it.  So my weigh in this morning had me, just barely, at a new low weight since having started the diet several weeks ago.

Today was incredibly busy.  No one big item, again just like it has been all week, just a ton of little things that just keep going on and driving me crazy.  I am quite looking forward to the weekend.

I was on the phone for the bulk of the day.  The phone just rang and rang all day.  I was really tired of talking on the phone by the time that the end of the day rolled around.

Lunch was quite short and late today.  I didn’t get a chance to pull myself away to go to lunch until about twenty after one and then I was back at my desk at a quarter until two and I took Oreo on his walk in between.  So you can extrapolate how short my time to eat and relax was.

At four Dominica took Oreo to the Peekskill Animal Hospital for a well visit.  The only time that Oreo has been to his vet here in Peekskill was when he was very sick and his doctor has never seen him when he was healthy, happy and perky so we wanted him to get to see him and start to acculumate good baseline data from which to judge future issues.  He was very happy to see Oreo doing so well and now has a much better impression of what he is like and feels that he is much younger than he thought in his initial assessment.

Oreo’s eyesight is also better than we had been worried that it was.  He definitely had cataracts but they are not advancing like we were worried that they may be.  So everything is okay there.  Surgery likely in a few years but not anytime soon unless something happens to dramatically change the situation.

The stock market took another massive beating in the US and European markets again today.  The S&P 500 is at its twelve year low today.  Ouch.  Two big factors hitting us today.  The first is that the US government has bought a thirty-six percent stake in Citi which seriously diluted the investors’ shares and the price of Citi stock came tumbling down ending around $1.46.  To put that into perspective the stock price was $40 in 1977 and was in the high thirties in 2006!  It is practically worthless today sending everyone into a panic about bank nationalization.

The other big factor is a new report released detailing the collapse of the European economy painting an extremely dark picture for them.  In the US our big concern is our recent slip from a dragging economic slowdown into recession but in much of Europe their concern is leaving recession behind as they sink into a full-fledged depression.  Things could get quite bad before we see things getting better.

It’s hard not to be depressed in an economy like this when you are constantly being bombarded with one item of bad news after another and when you see the value of your investments and retirement plans reduced to almost nothing.  I know that, in reality, the economic climate today is very good for us in the long run because of the ages that Dominica and I are now but the general depression going on is very overwhelming.  I am glad that I don’t see people on a daily basis who are complaining, or worse yet panicking, about the financial condition of the country or it would be really hard.

I am always torn between feeling bad because our bank accounts are dwindling and being excited because our long-term financial prospects keep improving.  If I step back and look at the big picture this is all great for us, but when you are too close to the situation it can be tough.  So many people with their crazy theories about how this recession is, for some crazy reason, so much different than any other as if we aren’t on a normal cycle and as if this was not expected.

Work for the office wrapped up at a surprisingly good time today considering how busy I was all day long.  I thought that I was going to have to do a lot of work tonight but it was not all that bad.  Tomorrow morning I have to work again as I normally do but because the work for tomorrow is pretty light and because the team in Bahrain are now able to work from home we are able to have some additional flexibility in the schedule so we are not starting until nine in the morning rather than the usual eight or earlier.

Around eight I was able to finally get away from the office for a little while but not entirely.  I worked relatively steadily until around ten thirty.  Then I was able to go upstairs and spend several hours with Dominica watching the British series MI-5 from 2002 and 2003.  I came in just as Dominica was watching the last episode of the first season of the show.  So I got to see the cliffhanger and the first bit of the second season.  Not a bad show.

I was hoping to have been able to have gone to bed at a reasonable time tonight, but I should know better than to even think that that might happen on a Friday night.  I was working with the datacenters tonight to do some server hardware maintenance work.  The work stated at eight which forces it to go pretty late and, as usually happens, it overlaps with a shift change at the datacenter making things go even later as projects get handed off from one team to another.

So at two in the morning I ended up having to do checkouts when I had deemed that it was so late that things really could not wait any longer.  These servers absolutely have to be up and running long before morning and two in the morning here is seven in the morning in London so we are already pushing the time envelope.

So I did not get a chance to get to go to bed until around two thirty in the morning.  Saturdays are actually one of my most exhausting days because Friday nights are my latest night working and Saturday mornings I normally have to get up extra early or, in the case, at least only at a normal work day time.

While I was stuck being up so late I took the opportunity to finally do some documentation work that needed my attention during the day but had gotten skipped because I was so busy.

Tomorrow we are hoping that at some point, probably around late morning, that Dominica will get a little bit of free time to make a run to A.C. Moore or Michael’s, whichever it is that we have around here, to do some shopping.  We need some paint and other modeling supplies and she is anxious to be able to get started on the buildings that we have for our model railroad.  We also need to make a trip to Home Depot to get a 3’x6′ cut of plywood on which to put the layout so that it is sturdy enough to be moved around.

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